Wiltshire Council nets £4.25m to boost county's rail services and stations

This Is Wiltshire: Dick Tonge, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways and transport Dick Tonge, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways and transport

Wiltshire Council has successfully bid for £4.25m of government funding to boost railway services and improve train stations in the county.

The Department of Transport announced on Wednesday that the authority has been successful in its application for part of £40m in available funding.

The money, which comes from a mixture of capital and revenue, will be used to create more regular services between Swindon and Westbury, fund improvements at a number of stations and help synchronise bus services with train connections.

Graham Ellis, chairman of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, said: "It’s fantastic news. The big thing is not only the money but that everyone is on board, the support behind it.

"We’ve felt that the Department for Transport has been trying to kick us into the long grass for years, so to turn around and give us this funding is fantastic."

Mr Ellis added that the money to improve stations and transport links would be well spent, and that he hoped the remainder would be used to help provide more trains on the TransWilts line in next year’s rail franchise.

At the moment just two trains run each way on the line between Westbury and Swindon, stopping at Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham.

Dick Tonge, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We are delighted that we have been successful in securing this government funding which will make a positive improvement to our rail services in the county.

"Improved train services and better access to stations will mean less people using the car and a boost for local businesses as the county will have even better transport connections.

"This grant is seed money to get the service started, the long term success of this project will depend on the number of passengers using it.

"We will be entering negotiations with the rail company as soon as we have the details of the grant."

Comments (3)

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10:29am Thu 28 Jun 12

Mondit says...

Fantastic news after some long and hard campaigning. I'm sure the seed money to get the service started will lead to a very successful service, which with minimal investment in new signalling at Melksham will hopefully turn into an hourly service before too long.
Fantastic news after some long and hard campaigning. I'm sure the seed money to get the service started will lead to a very successful service, which with minimal investment in new signalling at Melksham will hopefully turn into an hourly service before too long. Mondit

12:29pm Thu 28 Jun 12

moonrakin wurzel says...

Erm ... howsabout actually providing proper capacity on the trains that are already running?

The rush hour trains from Trowbridge Westbury and Bradford on Avon to Bath and Bristol are worse that a Tokyo rush hour - overcrowded to the point where it's actually a safety issue.

Why go off putting extra services on when you can't run the ones you've a;ready got properly?
Erm ... howsabout actually providing proper capacity on the trains that are already running? The rush hour trains from Trowbridge Westbury and Bradford on Avon to Bath and Bristol are worse that a Tokyo rush hour - overcrowded to the point where it's actually a safety issue. Why go off putting extra services on when you can't run the ones you've a;ready got properly? moonrakin wurzel

1:53pm Tue 3 Jul 12

steel451 says...

Agree with moonrakin there, I travel from Trowbridge everyday and the capacity during rush hour needs reviewing. Would also like to see some better facilities at the station - when it rains the only place to shelter is the tiny station office or with the bikes, somewhere to grab a coffee would be welcomed too.
Agree with moonrakin there, I travel from Trowbridge everyday and the capacity during rush hour needs reviewing. Would also like to see some better facilities at the station - when it rains the only place to shelter is the tiny station office or with the bikes, somewhere to grab a coffee would be welcomed too. steel451

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