A U-turn on a plan to get rid of train station ticket offices by rail operators has been welcomed in Reading.

A proposal that would have closed ticket offices across the country in favour of self-service ticket machines has now been scrapped.

The news has been welcomed in Reading, where the council’s Labour administration opposed the move.

John Ennis (Labour, Southcote), the lead councillor for transport said: “I’m sure the news that plans to close railway ticket offices have been scrapped will be welcomed by many rail passengers in Reading.

“The council objected to the proposed closures because it had significant concerns about the affect this move would have had on travellers with a disability, or who are visually impaired and may not be able to use online booking or ticket machines.

“Ticket offices provide a fixed point of contact for passengers who need advice and help from knowledgeable staff and to lose them would have made using the railway less inviting and less accessible.

“We are pleased that our voice and the voices of hundreds of thousands of people who objected to this retrograde step have been heard and listened to.”

The scheme to get rid of ticket offices was devised by the Rail Delivery Group, which is made up of train operating companies, Network Rail, which owns railway infrastructure in the country, freight train companies and other organisations.

The proposal was announced and went into public consultation in the summer.

But the plan is set to be scrapped as Mark Harper, the transport secretary and Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean,  has asked train operators to withdraw their proposals because they fail to meet high passenger standards.

The closure of ticket offices was also opposed by Matt Rodda, the Labour MP for Reading East, who launched a petition calling for the offices to remain open full-time.

The petition received 253 signatures.

Mr Rodda said: “The Government has scrapped its plans to close rail ticket offices – thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation and signed my petition.”

The council and Mr Rodda’s objections were sent to the Rail Delivery Group via Great Western Railway and South Western Railway, the two main train operators in Reading.

Concerns were raised that closing ticket offices would negatively affect passengers with disabilities and those who need advice on the best tickets to get.

Great Western Railway runs the mainline between Cardiff and South West into London, and also services to the other towns in Berkshire, Basingstoke, Gatwick Airport and more destinations.

South Western Railway runs the route between Reading and London Waterloo, which stops in Wokingham and Bracknell, and other services to the South Coast.