Swindon to Salisbury rail services boost

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More trains could run between Swindon and Westbury after a successful transport £4.25m grant bid.

The TransWilts direct service runs twice a day between the two towns - but that could increase to eight a day during the working week.

But the final outcome will depend on negotiations with rail operators, Wiltshire Council has said.

The grant has been welcomed by local transport groups who have been campaigning for better services.

The changes will also avoid the need to change at Bath at certain times of the day when there is no direct service between Westbury and Swindon.

It will mean more trains will instead travel via Melksham, which will benefit from an enhanced service.

These new services could be included as part of future franchise contracts.

Stations between Salisbury and Swindon are also set to be revamped with better walkways for pedestrians or new facilities, such as bike storage areas.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for transport Dick Tonge said: "Apart from the station improvements, we're also working on the line from Swindon and Westbury.

"It's a very erratic service with one early in the morning and one late at night, so we're going to be talking to the rail companies about improving that service."

Graham Ellis from TransWilts, said: "The money needs to go on making sure the integration is correct, and that when trains come back through Melksham the system can cope."

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