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Investment pays off as more West commuters take to the train

More West of England residents are catching trains since the introduction of half-hourly services to and from Bristol Temple Meads thanks to funding from the West of England Combined Authority, new figures suggest.

Great Western Railway says there has been a 15.6 per cent increase in the number of rail passengers since the introduction of 30-minute train services between Bristol and Gloucester – benefitting locals in Filton Abbey Wood, Bristol Parkway and Yate.

There has also been a 14.4 per cent jump in passenger numbers between Bristol and Westbury – benefitting those at Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa and Freshford – following the introduction of half-hour services on that line, says the rail operator.

It comes after a £7 million-plus investment from the Mayoral Combined Authority to introduce more frequent services for West of England passengers back in May 2023.

Dan Norris, West of England Mayor, said: “Growing passenger numbers is key to building a thriving, reliable local public transport network in the West of England.

“I’m pleased to see the uptake in these half-hourly services benefitting residents in Yate, Keynsham and other brilliant West of England communities. These are really very encouraging early signs.

“It’s all part of the Mayoral Combined Authority I lead’s multi-million-pound programme of rail improvements which is doing things like introducing more frequent journeys and building new stations.

“All this plus our recent victory in keeping all the West’s ticket booths open are key steps in getting more people out of their cars and onto trains – especially for those shorter everyday journeys – which in turn will help reduce congestion and emissions, and better connect our amazing region.”

The new and improved services have been delivered in partnership with GWR plus Network Rail.

Dan Okey, GWR Head of Regional Commercial Development, added: “We are really pleased to have been able to deliver these extra services, funded by West of England Combined Authority as part of the wider MetroWest scheme, and to see the positive impact that they have made.

“The continued growth in demand shows just how important good rail connections are for the community and the economies they serve, and we look forward to being able to deliver further improvements in the future.”

Pictured: Network Rail industry programme director for the West of England Daniel Round, GWR Regional Station Manager Claire Morgan, and Dan Norris

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