THE Railways Minister visited Melksham recently to see how the TransWilts rail service benefits the amid fears the service could be cut.
Railways Minister, Claire Perry was invited by Conservative Party’s Prosp-ective Parliamentary Candidate Michele Donelan to hear and see the impact the improved TransWilts service has had since it was increased last December.
The visit follows increasing concerns that have been raised that the newly-expanded TransWilts train service could be reduced. The proposed reduction would take place as trains are allocated elsewhere following the electrification of the Great Western main line from London to Cardiff.
Michelle said, “I invited Claire to Melksham to show her how the TransWilts Rail service is helping support local businesses and attract new ones into our town. It also gives residents the option of public transport which could help reduce congestion. We need to move forwards, we must not go backwards! We made a strong case to the Minister to invest in Melksham and ensure our rail service is not reduced.”
Graham Ellis, president, Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, “The new trains that started last December are cleverly meshed with the limited previous ones to provide a really useful total service. Most daily commuters using a new service at one end of the day, and an old service at the other end.
“Removal of the trains that ran until last December, and leaving just the new ones, would cut the heart out of the service, so the current level should be a minimum for the new base franchise.
“Efficiency improvements are possible when the line through Chippenham is electrified, to result in further improvements from Swindon all the way to Salisbury with one local train less in the area.”