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It's a rail boost for Wiltshire commuters
Rail travel in Wiltshire is getting back on track after First Great Western announced a major increase in services on the TransWilts line.
From December, the service between Westbury and Swindon will increase from twice daily return routes to eight routes, Monday to Saturday, offering more convenience to commuters getting across the region.
There will also be 11 single services running up and down the TransWilts line on Sundays.
Network Rail have given permission to the plans, which came about after years of campaigning from local groups including TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, Westbury Train Watch and West Wilts Rail Users.
Along the line, the trains will stop at Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham, with some of the services also running to Southampton, Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Graham Ellis, TransWilts Community Rail Partnership chairman, said: “There’s an epidemic of overcrowded trains across the South West and I’m looking forward to change coming to Melksham.
“A lot of work has gone into achieving this result.”
The announcement was also welcomed by Nicholas Reid, Westbury’s station manager, who praised the support that the plans have received from Wiltshire Council, as well as the region’s MPs Duncan Hames and Andrew Murrison.
Mr Hames said: “I’m delighted with the news. “It has been a goal I’ve been working toward, with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, for some time. “I’m confident that many people will start using this service and prove its worth.”
Mr Murrison said: “I have been pushing hard for rail improvements for a long time, especially after the disappointment of Westbury not getting the electrification service earlier in the year, and this is very good for the area.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson aded: "These improvements to rail services are part of the Connecting Wiltshire project funded by our successful bid for a £4.5m Government grant to improve sustainable transport in Wiltshire.
"Connecting Wiltshire and the range of exciting forthcoming improvements including enhancing cycle paths and the introduction of a state-of-the-art online travel portal, which will help people plan journeys, is great news for our communities."
The new timetable launches on December 8. Visit www. opentraintimes.com/location/ MKM/2013-12-14/0002-0001
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