A DIRECT rail service from Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge to London Waterloo has been withdrawn despite protests from local MPs and thousands of commuters.

South Western Railway withdrew the service from Bristol Temple Meads via Bath in December saying it was no longer economically viable.

The service was taken away despite strongly-worded letters to the Department of Transport and the company from local MPs Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) and Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire) and a petition signed by more than 6,000 people.

South Western Railway blamed its decision on passenger numbers dropping prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and said that its train operator competitor Great Western Railway offered an alternative service to London.

The route from Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge went via Salisbury to London Waterloo.