The Chair of Hunts Shopmobility has paid for a full-page advertisement in The Hunts Post newspaper to promote his petition against the threatened closures of ticket offices at Huntingdon and St Neots train stations.

Mr David Landon Cole is leading a campaign with the hope of keeping them open.

He said the Rail Delivery Group's (RDG) plan, which includes the closure of 1,000 train station ticket offices, "would make travelling harder for everyone - particularly people with disabilities."

The advert will feature in this week's edition of The Hunts Post and was paid for out of  Mr Landon Cole's own pocket.

The Hunts Post: The advert featuring in the newspaper fighting to keep Huntingdon and St Neots train station ticket offices open. The advert featuring in the newspaper fighting to keep Huntingdon and St Neots train station ticket offices open. (Image: David Landon Cole)

Speaking to the newspaper, Mr Landon Cole said: "I got a cheque back for overpaid tax, and I thought I've already been doing stuff about the stations and setting up petitions, and this is something I think is really important."

"If I'm honest, if I hadn't spent it on that, I'd have spent it on Warhammer, and so I thought it was probably better to spend it on something useful."

READ MORE: Huntingdon and St Neots railway stations could lose ticket offices

He expressed that the closures will be particularly bad for people with disabilities in general but particularly for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

"You can get a discounted railway ticket if you're using a wheelchair and going to sit in it for the journey, but you can't get those out of the machines," he said.

"The machines are completely useless if you're blind, and quite often, you can't get to them very well if you're using a wheelchair and can't reach up to see what is going on."

The RDG said the ticket office closure proposals are aimed at modernising customer service and highlighted the share of train tickets purchased from station offices has dramatically decreased from 85 per cent in 1995 to just 12 per cent today.

Five mayors, including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor Dr Nik Johnson, are preparing to take action against the proposed closure of rail ticket offices for "the good of the country."

READ MORE: Dr Nik Johnson joins mayors to fight against closure of rail ticket offices

In a letter to The Hunts Post, Mr Landon Cole added: "With a ticket office, you always know where to find help and advice.

"Without a point of contact, getting help with luggage, ramps, unlocking loos, and just generally using the station is much harder.

"I fear that closing ticket offices is a step towards unstaffed stations. Those job cuts would make travelling by train harder for everyone."

What next?

The RDG's public consultation on the proposed ticket office closures, looking for passengers' input, is set to end today (July 26).

After three weeks of consultations, there will be a two-week assessment period while organisations consider the feedback they've received, with the government having the final say on which ticket offices will close their doors.