A CAMPAIGN to save train services in Melksham appears to have failed. First Great Western published its new timetable this week, which confirmed campaigners' worst fears.

From December 2006, there will only be two services running on the Swindon to Salisbury line calling at Melksham, instead of five.

Graham Ellis, 51, of The Spa, Melksham, who has led the fight against the cuts, said he is bitterly disappointed.

"These changes are especially painful for rail users in Melksham, who are losing 60 per cent of their trains in spite of ticket sales rising by an average of 35 per cent a year in each of the last five years," he said.

Campaigners had hoped for a reprieve after First Great Western asked for the views of people who use the route.

However, the timetable published on Tuesday confirmed the cuts were going ahead.

Mr Ellis said he would continue the fight and encourage people to contact First Great Western and the Department of Transport.

He said: "I'm planning to travel on the two trains that will be kept under the new timetable, to hand out leaflets to passengers to show them what these cuts will mean and encourage them to contact the relevant bodies."

First Great Western defended its decision, saying it was following guidelines laid out by the Department of Transport as part of the franchise bid.

The company said it would look at any proposals to change services, but could not promise to make any changes suggested.