CAMPAIGNERS who want to see more trains running through west Wiltshire have been told they will have to put up with the current level of service.

The Government has responded to a petition on 10 Downing Street;s website which was started after train services in the west of England were slashed by up to 80 per cent last December with the remaining trains unreliable and often overcrowded.

It was set up by Melksham businessman Graham Ellis and signed by more than 1,700 people, including eight MPs, five MEPs and dozens of councillors, by the time it closed.

The reply, sent out on Friday, states that the Government has been assured by the train operator First Great Western that it will bring in more rolling stock and will increase services in some areas.

But it stated it would not bring the trains in Wiltshire back to the levels provided before the timetable change in December.

Campaigners from Save The Train, who started the petition, say the Government is shifting the blame onto train operator First Great Western, is using old forecasts and misses the point that they are looking for an appropriate service, not a return to the previous one.

Mr Ellis said: "The government has walked away from a wonderful opportunity to provide an appropriate service in the region.

"It appears to have misread my request for an appropriate service - trains at times people need to travel, reliable, with adequate capacity - as a request for a return to the old timetable, which it was not."

First Great Western is planning another timetable review in December this year and it is thought that Warminster and Dilton Marsh stand to lose a significant number of services.

The number of trains in the fleet could also be reduced, with 10 two-coach trains possibly moving to the north of the country.