The first train of an improved rail service between Westbury and Swindon - with additional trains running through Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham - will set off on Sunday [December 8].
First Great Western’s draft timetable has an additional six trains a day in each direction from Monday to Saturday, meaning that there will be one train approximately every two hours, including early morning and evening services in both directions.
There will also be an additional four trains on Sundays throughout the year, with at least one seasonal service connecting with the existing Westbury to Weymouth service in each direction.
First Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood said:
"First Great Western has worked hard with Wiltshire Council with the support of the local user group to secure these additional services.
"We are delighted to confirm that the agreement to operate has been signed by FGW and Wiltshire, which will enable us to provide an extra six trains a day in each direction. This is great news for passengers, allowing both commuters and leisure travellers a good value alternative to taking the car."
The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project. Funding for the project comes after the council successfully bid for a Department for Transport (DfT) grant of £4.25m which will support the improved service for three years. Further information about the project can be found at www.connectingwiltshire.co.uk.
John Thomson, cabinet member for highways said:
“The improved Trans Wilts Rail Service is an important part of the council’s commitment to ensuring local people have better access to public transport.
“The service will bring real social and economic benefits to the people of Wiltshire but the funding is only for three years so it’s important that people use the service now so it can be sustainable into the future.”