Passengers urged to use Swindon/Westbury link as more trains are put on

This Is Wiltshire: Graham Ellis Graham Ellis

THIS weekend will see an increase in the number of train services between Swindon and Westbury thereby increasing the connectivity of Wiltshire.

For a number of years there have only been two trains each day between the stations but there will now be eight.

Wiltshire Council has agreed to subsidise the extra trains, allowing people to both get into the town easier as well as see what the rest of the county has to offer.

First Great Western is running the line until 2015, at which point the subsidy will run out. If at that stage the service has not been proved to be financially viable, then whoever is controlling the line beyond this point will no longer run it.

Graham Ellis, of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, said it is vital people use the extra services so it can be kept.

He said: “It’s a case of use it or lose it.

“After the period of the subsidy finishes, there has to be sufficient level of demand for it to continue.

“We’re absolutely delighted though that the service is up and running and if past experience is anything to go by demand shouldn’t be a problem.

“In 2011 we ran extra trains for one day and they were packed. That’s with some people saying they hadn’t heard about the extra service so I’m quite confident this will be well used.”

Wiltshire Council is putting more than £4 million into the route after receiving money from the Department of Transport.

It is hoped the extra routes will make Swindon more accessible for commuters and shoppers but also make it easier for residents of the town to explore the rest of the county.

Graham said: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone, whether they live in Swindon or not.

“People can come into Swindon to use the Outlet Centre or the Steam Museum for example or even come in to work.

“Previously the two routes ran at very inconvenient times so for many people it wasn’t an option.

“Over the summer months especially I expect it to get very busy as people in Swindon can see what Wiltshire has to offer as well as having a more direct route to the south coast.”

A single ticket from Westbury to Swindon will cost £13.40 and an anytime day return £17.60.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “These improvements to rail services are part of the Connecting Wiltshire project funded by our successful bid for a £4.5m Government grant to improve sustainable transport in Wiltshire.

“Connecting Wiltshire and the range of exciting forthcoming improvements including enhancing cycle paths and the introduction of a state-of-the-art online travel portal, which will help people plan journeys, is great news for our communities.”

Comments (4)

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9:29am Sat 7 Dec 13

Always Grumpy says...

Why would anyone want to go to Westbury?
Why would anyone want to go to Westbury? Always Grumpy

8:41am Sun 8 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

most people still prefer their car because they can leave at the time they want, stop when they want and go with who they want. Public transport will never replace the car when it is so rigid and unreliable and why should we when we spend so much to own and run our cars.
most people still prefer their car because they can leave at the time they want, stop when they want and go with who they want. Public transport will never replace the car when it is so rigid and unreliable and why should we when we spend so much to own and run our cars. house on the hill

9:19am Sun 8 Dec 13

Ringer says...

It's a bizarre concept, and one that could only ever be implemented at the expense of the taxpayer: lay on a service that nobody's going to use - but will create the expense regardless - and then tell people they should use it - but keep running the service for a year even when they don't.

If the extra trains were 'packed' in the past, why did they stop running them?
It's a bizarre concept, and one that could only ever be implemented at the expense of the taxpayer: lay on a service that nobody's going to use - but will create the expense regardless - and then tell people they should use it - but keep running the service for a year even when they don't. If the extra trains were 'packed' in the past, why did they stop running them? Ringer

7:14pm Sun 8 Dec 13

LordCharles says...

What on Earth is there at Westbury except the White Horse.
What on Earth is there at Westbury except the White Horse. LordCharles

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