A new bus service is to be launched in April to provide faster connections between Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon and Bath.

The new D1x service will begin from Sunday, April 7 and will provide a more direct connection into and out of Bath.

It will use the A363 via the Bradford Road, Sally in the Woods and the London Road in Bath and will make limited stops in Farleigh Wick.

The service follows a new partnership between Wiltshire Council and First Bus and will be around 15 minutes quicker than the equivalent journey on the current D1 bus at peak times.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We’re delighted to work with First Bus on this new service, which will provide more capacity and faster journeys between Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon and Bath.

“This new service, which we have supported through our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) funding, meets our Business Plan commitment to have well-connected communities, and at just £2 per journey until the end of this year, the D1x is the perfect bus service for work commutes, shopping trips and leisure journeys.”

George Burton, First West of England’s head of network, said: “Thanks to our work with Wiltshire Council, we’re pleased to be offering the D1x as a quicker route between Trowbridge and Bath, shaving about 15 minutes off the journey time."

The new service will use the new 'tap on, tap-off' technology and will run between existing D1 journeys so passengers will benefit from both faster journeys and an increased frequency of buses between Bath, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge.

It will have more space for passengers too because it will not pass under the low railway bridge at Limpley Stoke and will be able to use double decker vehicles.

The new D1x will run hourly from around 5am until 7pm Monday to Saturday, with the first trip into Bath leaving Trowbridge at 5.55am and the last trip out of Bath at 6.35pm.

Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan said: “Great news for our community! First Bus and Our Wiltshire are introducing the brand new D1X bus service.

“While neighbouring councils are axing bus routes - Our Wiltshire, with its balanced budget, are able to invest in new bus routes.”

Cllr Johnny Kidney, the Wiltshire Council ward member for Winsley and Westwood, also welcomed the new service, adding: “Unfortunately we won't currently see increased frequency on the D1 timetable at Winsley and Limpley Stoke, however the reduction in overcrowding on this important and popular service will at least be welcome.

“It will also be of benefit to residents in Monkton Farleigh who will be able to use the new bus to access Bath via stops at Farleigh Wick and at the turn-off to Monkton Farleigh.

“I have been assured by the passenger transport team that existing D1 services are otherwise largely unaffected apart from minor timing tweaks, primarily to early morning services and that there will no adverse impact on frequency.”

He added: “While neighbouring Councils like B&NES and Somerset are axing bus routes to try to bridge their budget shortfalls, it is good that Wiltshire Council with its balanced budget is able to buck the trend and invest in new bus routes.

“Alongside this, I will continue to make the case to our passenger transport team at Wiltshire Council to work with First Bus to also increase frequency on the D1 service as bus user numbers continue to rise to pre-pandemic levels.

“I will share the D1 and D1X timetables as soon as they become available."