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Wiltshire Rail Bid

February 19, 2012 8:48 AM
By Trevor Carbin / WC

Wiltshire Council has bid for over £4million from the government to fund improvements to the county's rail network. The Department for Transport's 'Local Sustainable Transport Fund' was set up last year to "enable the delivery ... of sustainable transport solutions."

The scheme if approved will introduce a two-hourly service to the Westbury to Swindon line as well as improving facilities at stations. The government grant would be supplemented by a local contribution of £1.5million over four years.

The background information for the council's bid was worked up by consultants Mouchel. They've had difficulty estimating likely usage on the line through Melksham because trains are currently so rare that it would be virtually a new route. The range of passenger numbers would, they say, be between 45,000 and 120,000 per year.

Station improvements would include cycle parking at Trowbridge, Westbury and Warminster possibly with a 'bike hire' scheme. There would be better information systems and new bus connections including a Warminster to Longleat service.

To improve the submission WC requested letters of support from businesses, trade associations, Town Councils, Colleges etc.

The result of the bid should be known in May.

For details of the council's application see http://moderngov.wiltshire.council/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=536