SOUTH West Wiltshire MP Dr Andrew Murrison says nationwide plans to close local train ticket offices must make life easier for passengers if they are to succeed.

The local MP has Tisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury stations in his constituency, the latter three of which would be affected by the proposals.

Passengers have until Wednesday, July 26 to complete a survey on GWR's website:

He said: “Services should, in my view, be designed to make life easier for them and operators need to satisfy themselves and the public that this would be the case in carrying forward any changes. 

“If the changes proposed to bring staff out from behind glass screens so that they are more accessible to the travelling public, they would have some merit.

“However, simply reducing staff availability would not be helpful. If ticket office staff are placed in front of the screen, they would have to be positioned accessibly and be readily identifiable to customers."

Meanwhile, Trowbridge Town Council has joined Bradford on Avon Town Council by launching an online petition against the planned closures.

Council leader Stewart Palmen said: “GWR are planning to close the Ticket Office at their station in Trowbridge and that will make it much more difficult for some to be able to travel from Trowbridge by train.

"This petition is aimed to show the strength of feeling against the planned closure.”

GWR is consulting on proposals to close the ticket offices in Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Pewsey, Swindon, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury.

It says the number of people buying tickets at most of the offices has dropped to below 15 per cent as more passengers now use online booking or buy at platform ticket machines.

GWR says: “The consultations are happening as part of an industry-wide set of proposals that would mean ticket office staff would work on station platforms and concourses where they can be closer to customers. Subject to consultation, ticket offices could be phased out over a number of years.

"Ticket office staff would be freed up to work in other areas of the station where they are closer to customers and better placed to help, in line with models already in place at some Great Western Railway stations such as Newbury or Reading Green Park.

“Digital tickets have made it easier and faster for customers to buy and manage tickets online, which means fewer people than ever are using ticket offices."

To sign the Trowbridge petition, click here.

To sign the Bradford on Avon petition click here.

To sign a national petition, click here.