Buses between Chippenham and Trowbridge are now running twice as frequently.

Bus operator Faresaver has doubled the number of buses each day to cope with a surging demand for the popular route.

The number of students and children using it had quadrupled in the past two years and adult passengers had increased by 40 per cent in this time.

Now, instead of every hour, one bus leaves Chippenham bus station at 20 past the hour and another at 10 to the hour for most of the day.

The new timetable came into force on Sunday for the X34 service between Chippenham and Frome in Somerset, which travels via Melk-sham and Trowbridge.

Faresaver general manager Daniel Pickford said: “These results are particularly pleasing when many semi-rural buses services are suffering as a result of government cutbacks, increased fuel costs and spiralling overheads.”

He said investment in more accessible buses with lower floors had attracted more elderly passengers.

The surge in student use followed the Kids for a Quid offer of the last year, which allows anyone carrying student ID to travel anywhere on the X34 route for £1.

Mr Pickford said: “I hope that the combination of the increased frequency of the buses, ongoing fleet enhancements and the hard work of the loyal team of Faresaver drivers will justify this latest move and further enhance bus usage in this part of north Wiltshire.”

Faresaver has been operating the route for more than 20 years. In other timetable changes, the company has allowed more running time has been allowed between Chippenham and Bath in a bid to improve the punctuality of the X31 service.

There is also an extra trip on the X72 between Devizes and Melksham – leaving Devizes at 5.05pm and arriving at 5.27pm.