Suffolk's rail ticket offices will remain open after the government performed a u-turn and abandoned a scheme that would have seen them replaced with platform-based staff.

The proposal first came from the Rail Delivery Group - which represents rail operators - which is under pressure from ministers to cut costs.

The Department for Transport was keen on the proposal - but there was a huge public campaign against the proposals and there were doubts about how much money might be saved. 

Now Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said train operators have been asked to withdraw the proposals as they “do not meet the high thresholds set by ministers”.

This is in response to watchdogs Transport Focus and London TravelWatch announcing they opposed every single planned closure due to issues such as the impact on accessibility.

A train operator source told the PA news agency: “There is quiet fury in the rail industry about where we’ve got to.

“The plan was signed off by civil servants and ministers. They’ve U-turned.”

Greater Anglia, along with  other train operators, had been proposing changes with staff coming out from behind the ticket office window into more flexible roles, which were intended to provide a better service and more assistance for customers.

However, in the light of the objections, Greater Anglia’s proposed changes to ticket offices, and those of all other train operators, will be withdrawn.

A spokesman for the company said: "We thank everybody who participated in the consultation process. We have listened to and responded to the feedback we have received.

"We will continue to focus on other ways in which we can keep on improving the customer experience for rail travellers across our region."

East Anglian Daily Times: Dr Dan Poulter welcomed the news about the ticket offices.Dr Dan Poulter welcomed the news about the ticket offices. (Image: Newsquest)

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter's constituents use stations at Stowmarket and Diss which would have lost their ticket offices - and welcomed the news.

He said: "This seems sensible. It is clear that many people - particularly those with mobility issues or who only occasionally use the train - need to know where they can find help at the station.

Jack Abbott, Labour candidate for Ipswich, said: "The Conservatives’ shambolic plans have fallen apart, and not before time."

Under the proposals there would have been a ticket office remaining at Ipswich - but he said Labour was also worried about travellers elsewhere in the county.

"Their damaging proposals would have seen brutal cuts to Suffolk's ticket offices, putting accessibility and jobs at risk.

"While the Conservatives have been forced into a humiliating u-turn, this has been an utterly colossal waste of time and taxpayers’ money, and left communities worried about what the closures would have meant for them."

East Anglian Daily Times: Adrian Ramsay was joined at Diss station by supporters to campaign against ticket office closures.Adrian Ramsay was joined at Diss station by supporters to campaign against ticket office closures. (Image: Waveney Valley Green Party.)

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party and Green MP candidate for Waveney Valley said: "This is great news, a huge victory for people power and a massive defeat for the Conservative government's attempt to run down public services. 

"Having personally objected to the closures planned for our region and been at Diss station -in front of a broken down ticket machine - to protest the planned closure, I know the strength of feeling on this issue.

"It means that ticket offices at Diss and Stowmarket stations, under the threat of closure, are reprieved."

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said there were “serious overall concerns” over issues including how so-called welcome points would work, how operators would sell a “full range” of tickets, and how excessive queues at ticket machines would be avoided.

RDG chief executive Jacqueline Starr said the proposals were about adapting the railway to the changing needs of customers “in the smartphone era”, balanced with the “significant financial challenge faced by the industry”.

She continued: “While these plans won’t now be taken forward, we will continue to look at other ways to improve passenger experience while delivering value for the taxpayer.”