Duncan joined commuters aboard the new TransWilts rail service on Monday morning. Eight trains are now running in each direction along the line between Westbury and Swindon a day, Monday to Saturday, stopping at Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham.
Duncan met commuters as he sold and checked tickets on the first 7.38am train from Trowbridge to Swindon, calling at Melksham and Chippenham.
Funding for the improvements comes from a £4.25 million grant from the Department for Transport to Wiltshire Council.
“It was great to have the chance to meet the commuters on the new regular train service serving Melksham and Chippenham, made possible by a grant from the Coalition Government.
“I’ve been working with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership for a number of years to get this up and running, and am really pleased to see so many local people benefitting from it.”
First Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood said:
“First Great Western has worked hard with Wiltshire Council with the support of the local user group to secure these additional services. We are delighted to be able to celebrate the start of these additional services. It is great news for passengers, allowing both commuters and leisure travellers a good value alternative to taking the car.”
Duncan has worked with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, the rail industry and Wiltshire Council to secure the funding from the Government, a commitment to run the service from First Great Western and approval from Network Rail. He has written to Ministers in support of the effort, met with them and, on several occasions, asked Transport Ministers to support it in the chamber of the House of Commons. He has also met with officials from Network Rail and First Great Western to overcome obstacles to successfully delivering the service.