Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham - Rail service is now back on track thanks to grant

On Monday morning last week, I boarded the 7.38 train from Trowbridge, not just to travel to Swindon but to sell the tickets too. It was a great way to celebrate the launch of the new regular TransWilts rail service, and to meet the local commuters who are benefiting from it.

I’ve been working with First Great Western and the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership for a number of years to get this service up and running, and I am delighted that it’s been made possible by a grant of more than £4 million from the coalition government.

Eight trains a day are now running in each direction along the line between Westbury and Swindon, Monday to Saturday, stopping at Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham.

That’s a big improvement, particularly for the people of Melksham who had their service cut to just two trains a day each way eight years ago.

I hope that in the new year plenty of local people will take up this option and prove its worth.

This sort of government investment for a stronger economy in Wiltshire is very welcome, and I am determined to ensure that it doesn’t stop there.

A fortnight ago, Liberal Democrat Treasury Minister Danny Alexander set out the government’s plans for £375 billion-worth of infrastructure projects.

In Parliament last week, I pressed him to include Wiltshire College’s proposed new Chippenham campus in those plans.

I’ve already urged the Skills Minister and even the Prime Minister to ensure the college receives the funding it needs to rebuild the campus and help our young people acquire the skills that will enable them to get on in life.

Returning to Wiltshire, I toured the Shreddies factory in Staverton, where investment in their combined heat and power plant has cut carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of taking 3,600 cars off the roads.

I met a student spending a year in industry as part of her sandwich course, and a recent graduate on the firm’s graduate trainee scheme, who is already making her contribution to health and safety in a business that clearly takes great pride in its operations.

I look forward to witnessing more and more opportunities created for young people as we build a stronger economy in the year ahead.

I also completed three well-attended constituency surgeries, bringing my total for 2013 to 52.

Comments (1)

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2:10pm Fri 20 Dec 13

wiltshireborne says...

First train leaves Swindon at 6:12 and the next one isn't until 8:49! Two and half hours between trains totally missing the morning rush. Nice one.

I take it this has been designed to fail.

I'll be driving instead then.
First train leaves Swindon at 6:12 and the next one isn't until 8:49! Two and half hours between trains totally missing the morning rush. Nice one. I take it this has been designed to fail. I'll be driving instead then. wiltshireborne

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