PLANS to close the ticket office at Runcorn train station have led to the creation of a petition by the area’s MP.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, whose constituency covers east Runcorn, has stated his disagreement with the proposals.

Last week, industry body the Rail Delivery Group unveiled widely condemned proposals which could lead to nearly all offices being shut at stations across the country.

It insists that moving ticket office staff onto station platforms and concourses will ‘modernise customer service’, and it has pledged there will be ‘more staff available to give face-to-face help’.

Public consultations are set to take place, but Avanti West Coast has confirmed that it is planning on closing its ticket office at Runcorn station, as is Northern at its stations in Halton.

Transport for Wales however said it does not plan to make changes to the office at Runcorn East.

In response to the plans, Mike said: “The proposed closure of ticket offices across England, including Runcorn and Northwich in my constituency, is not good news if you require traditional customer service because you are elderly, disabled or have special needs.

“I believe many able-bodied passengers do not want to see our rail service dehumanised either, especially given touch screen ticketing technology does not always work and the fact staff provide a sense of security and reassurance for travellers, in addition to help and advice.

“Let us also spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of rail staff whose jobs could be at risk, including employees in our community.

“We want to create a big noise and generate some publicity as part of the campaign to halt these closure plans and save our ticket offices.”

Mike also started a petition against the closures, which can be signed at and has so far attracted more than 270 signatures.

He held a peaceful protest at Northwich train station, also in his constituency, over the weekend which was attended by disability campaigners, rail workers, community leaders and members of the public.

The Government claims more help and assistance will be available on platforms. But this is rejected by the RMT union which says more than 2,000 jobs will be lost.

Signaller Keith Simpson, branch secretary of RMT Chester branch, said: “We are here today facing the prospect of the ticket office closing and more jobs being culled as a result of this Tory Government.

“They care not a jot about working people, about people in poverty, about the disabled.”

To take part in the 21-day consultation, which is now open and will run up to July 28, visit or