THE Trains Minister has confirmed the Bristol to Waterloo service, which stops in west Wiltshire towns, will be retained.

The route is part of the South Western Franchise, which was awarded to South West Trains at the end of last month.

The Department of Transport did not originally include the service in the franchise but added it as a priced option which bidders could consider including.

West Wilts MP Dr Andrew Murrison has welcomed the news the popular train service will be retained.

"I am delighted by this announcement and congratulate local train campaigners that have worked hard to achieve this result," he said.