MP Richard Foord has welcomed the news that railway ticket offices will remain open after a Government U-turn.

It means the ticket offices at Tiverton Parkway and Taunton Railway Stations will now not close as proposed under a consultation which has been running since July.

The decision comes after weeks of speculation about their fate after proposals to close all ticket offices were put forward by rail operating companies.

Despite a huge public backlash, Conservative Ministers initially defended the proposals.

In a Parliamentary debate Rail Minister Huw Merriman said the proposals were aimed at getting ‘ticket office staff to come from behind the ticket office and interact with passengers, customers, on the platform’.

Mr Foord, who currently represents a large part of Mid Devon around Wellington but who is switching to a new constituency for the next General Election, raised the issue multiple times in Parliament and wrote to both South Western Railway and Great Western Railway about the impact closing ticket offices would have on local people.

He said the announcement the ticket offices had been reprieved was a big win for all the community campaigners who had been vocal in opposing the plans.

Mr Foord said: “The scrapping of plans to close our local ticket offices is welcome news.

“We know how helpful they are to elderly and vulnerable passengers, and the huge benefit that ticket office staff offer rail users.

“The question is, why did it take the Government so long to act?

“The damage that these changes would have caused was visible from space. 

“The public backlash showed a strength of feeling that makes it plain this decision should have been made ages ago.

“Ministers at the Department for Transport chose to sit on their haunches for months until we campaigners forced them go into reverse.

“So, this is a big win for our corner of Devon and everybody who uses our railways”