Wiltshire's TransWilts community gets national recognition
Thursday 17th April 2014
The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership has been admitted as a full member of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) - a federation of over 50 community rail partnerships and rail promotion groups.
The TransWilts Railway line runs from Swindon, via stations at Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge to Westbury, with services continuing or connecting to Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury. The service is operated by First Great Western.
First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
"Throughout the First Great Western network community rail groups play a leading role, adding value to projects designed to improve services and make stations safer, friendlier and greener.
"With the recent launch of six additional TransWilts services a day, between Westbury and Swindon, we have worked in partnership with Wiltshire Council and the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership to improve rail links. I am delighted the community rail partnership has been recognised today by ACoRP."
The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (TWCRP) is a group of like-minded
organisations seeking to make better use of the TransWilts railway line. The partnership aims to achieve positive, sustainable and imaginative development of the TransWilts railway.
Speaking at the launch of the additional Westbury/Swindon services, Horace Prickett, Passenger Transport Portfolio Holder for Wiltshire Council, said:
"I am only too willing to support and enhance the appointment of the Transwilts Community Rail Partnership as members of ACoRP. This group has been working tirelessly for several years to make the connectivity of Wiltshire's only cathedral city, Salisbury, and its largest conurbation, Swindon, truly possible.
“Thanks to the cooperative work of Wiltshire Council, who are supporting this service with a £4.25m grant over three years, the Transwilts group, who have kept a skeleton service alive for so many years, and the government's funding of sustainable transport projects, rail connectivity across Wiltshire has become a reality."
Passenger numbers on the new train services are encouraging with many new rail journeys being made as locally as from Chippenham to Trowbridge, and as distant as Melksham to Glasgow.
Sion Bretton, Chair of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, said:
"This is really great news as it will guide us into activities which will help us promote the line efficiently - learning from those who have 'been there, done that' before so that we can maximise passenger knowledge, numbers and satisfaction over the next 18 months."