RAIL passengers and commuters have said they are 'over the moon' that the ticket office will stay open at Andover railway station after closure plans were scrapped.

The Government confirmed on Tuesday, October 31 that plans to close railway ticket offices in England have been scrapped.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that the U-turn came about because the proposals “did not meet the high thresholds” of serving rail passengers.

As previously reported in July, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) revealed proposals that could have led to nearly all offices being shut to cut costs, with facilities only staying open at the busiest stations.

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The news about the U-turn has been welcomed by residents in Andover. 

Sue and Bill Warman, 70 and 81, use the train line regularly to get to London, and said the news about the ticket office U-turn was 'fantastic'.

Sue said: "We use the trains but aren't too tech-savvy, so having someone there makes it all so much easier. If they didn't have someone in the ticket office to help we would be a lot less likely to travel. Also, the man who works in the ticket office is absolutely fantastic. We're thrilled to see the decision reversed."

Wendy Cole said: "I'm a carer so I work with vulnerable people, and going online to have to get tickets and information can be really difficult. Also, taking away the service would've meant job losses across the country.

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"I think it's a good thing they've reversed the decision, as you can't tell me they can't afford it. They'd be doing a disservice to the community by not having ticket offices, so I think it's absolutely great."

Attitude for Gratitude campaigner, Manuela Wahnon, spent a number of days collecting signatures at the station for a petition against the closure of ticket offices. She said: "I'm really pleased that I spent two to three days up at the station collecting signatures for our station, and have done our bit in saving the ticket offices."

Allan Odey said: "It's great news. I think without the ticket offices, you'd end up having people not buying tickets, buying the wrong tickets, who would end up being penalised. For a lot of people, having somewhere there to assist them makes all the difference.

"They've done the right thing by changing it back. Removing ticket offices would have made it more difficult for lots of people."

Sharon, who did not want to give her surname, said: "Some older people aren't great with technology, so they wouldn't have stood a chance of travelling with no assistance. Also, some people don't get human interaction on a daily basis and having that is so important for people's mental health. It's great news."