Taxi marshals are to return to the streets of Chippenham to see revellers home safely over the peak periods at Christmas.

The Chippenham Area Board and the town council have each agreed to chip in £500 to pay for two marshals to be employed from midnight to 4pm over the weekends of December 10 and 17, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Taxi marshals were a familiar sight at weekends until January when the Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership cut funding for the scheme saying it did not bring enough benefit to warrant the £1,100-a-month expenditure.

Since then councillors have been working with the police to reintroduce the project on the busiest nights in December.

Coun Peter Hutton, who helped to work on the bids, said: “As a member of the night-time economy group I am pleased to see that joint funding has been granted for a taxi marshal service to be provided over certain periods of Christmas and the new year.

“Not only will this help with community safety and encourage spending within Chippenham, it proves that despite these hard times, with partnership working things are still achievable.”

It is hoped that the marshals will contribute to the reduction of anti-social behaviour, disorder and alcohol-related incidents, as well as calming and reassuring members of the public.

Coun Hutton said: “We believe this is a vital element in the overall strategy proposed for Chippenham, which could soon include street pastors out at night.

“It is a win-win situation we hope because not only can people come into Chippenham and feel safe, but they will also spend money in the town.”

The marshals will form part of the Chippenham night-time economy strategy, which also includes radios for door staff at clubs, pubs and takeaways, street pastors and arm bands for bouncers.

Inspector Kate Pain, of Chippenham Police, said the funding is a positive step. She said: “The taxi marshals are a useful addition to policing the town that provides reassurance to the public and reduces conflict between taxi customers in the early hours of the morning.”