THE community are celebrating a Government u-turn over plans to close railway station ticket offices.

Malvern's mayor and the leader of Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) have both said they are delighted the plans to close rail ticket offices have been axed. 

Great Malvern and Malvern Link were among hundreds of railway station ticket offices on the list for closure in the proposals announced by the Rail Delivery Group in the summer.

But on Tuesday, (October 31), the government announced the decision to reverse the closures following public consultation.

Councillor Tom Wells, leader of MHDC, said: “I am delighted to hear the government has made the decision to scrap the plans.

"Rail companies should not be making it more difficult to use the railways, a safe and accessible service should be available for all.

"I am glad the concerns of the public have been listened to.”

Transport secretary Mark Harper said train operators have been asked to withdraw the proposals as they “do not meet the high thresholds set by ministers”.

Malvern Gazette: STATION: Malvern LinkSTATION: Malvern Link (Image: Newsquest)

MHDC, along with the other district councils in Worcestershire, submitted responses to the consultations by West Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway.

The council showed concerns about the impact of the changes on users of rail services in the county, including tourists at some stations.

Malvern Gazette: COUNCILLOR: Councillor Tom WellsCOUNCILLOR: Councillor Tom Wells (Image: Malvern Hills District Council)


Malvern mayor Clive Hooper who had campaigned to keep the ticket offices open was also delighted at the news.

Malvern Gazette: MAYOR: Malvern mayor Clive HooperMAYOR: Malvern mayor Clive Hooper (Image: Malvern Town Council)

"It does show local and national efforts to change decisions that have been made can be effective.

"Having somebody on site at stations will also make it less prone to vandalism."

He said he hoped rail operators would also be more receptive to using underused spaces at rail stations for more community activity. 

MP Harriett Baldwin said she was contacted by hundreds of concerned residents.

Malvern Gazette: STATION: Great Malvern StationSTATION: Great Malvern Station (Image: Geoff Sheppard)

“I expressed my clear opposition to this plan because of the effect it may have to deter rail users, particularly the older and vulnerable or disabled customers,” said Mrs Baldwin.

“The speed of response from my constituents and the sheer number of objections suggested that the rail operators had taken the wrong approach and I urged the regulator to have a close look at the proposals.

Malvern Gazette: MP: Harriett BaldwinMP: Harriett Baldwin

“Both Malvern Link and Great Malvern stations have had recent investment and I am delighted that my constituents have been heeded.

“I’m now calling on West Midlands Trains to engage better with their customers, to hear this feedback and realise that support for trains, stations and station staff could not be higher.”

Ticket offices at 974 stations in England could have been affected by proposals 

But the Government u-turn followed concerns raised over accessibility, safety and security