Westbury to Swindon train increase to begin in December

A First Great Western train
Image caption Wiltshire Council will pay the subsidy for the new services using a Department for Transport grant

Trains from Westbury to Swindon are to be increased from two to eight per day by Christmas, Wiltshire Council says.

The authority has given the go-ahead for a detailed contract and new timetable to be negotiated with train operator First Great Western.

The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council's Local Sustainable Transport Fund project.

It is hoped the new service will be ready to start operating on 8 December.

The plan also includes an additional four trains on Sundays throughout the year, with at least one seasonal service connecting with the existing Westbury-Weymouth service in each direction.

Councillor John Thomson, deputy leader, said the expanded service would bring "real social and economic benefits" to the people of Wiltshire.

But he said it was "important local people use and support the service to ensure it is viable into the future".

The subsidy will stop in two years when First Great Western's franchise ends.

Mr Thomson said the extra services would not last beyond then if people did not use them.

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