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Issue 299 – It’s all “GO” for improved rail services in Frome

Frome people may be able to catch direct trains to Oxford and the Midlands within a year if the country’s first co-operative rail firm can raise the capital to run the service.

Earlier this month, the Go! co-operative publicly launched the new service which would result in more trains passing through Frome Railway Station.
The route will run from Yeovil junction to the Midlands via Yeovil Pen Mill, Frome, Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham, Chippenham, Swindon and Oxford. The Go! co-operative aims to be running services on this route from May 2011.
Simon Carpenter, of the More Train Less Strain campaign and also Sustainable Frome said, “In principle this seems like very good news for Frome.
“Anything that improves services in terms of providing more trains would be fantastic and particularly if the service makes its way to Melksham and Chippenham because there are many people who commute to these towns to work and it is not a short journey.
“If it will persuade more people to travel sustainbly than it can’t be a bad thing. Also, with the new Bloor Homes development nearby, I suspect there will be many people there and will be a higher demand for decent rail services in the town.”
The co-operative, which is part of The Co-op Group, says it is “aiming to empower passengers throughout the UK.”
A spokesperson for the Go! co-operative said, “Our mission is to reduce the social and environmental impacts of travel by providing mutually owned, high quality, inclusive public transport services that encourage people to choose more sustainable options.”
Go! Co-operative is looking for investor support to run train services in Oxford, Swindon, Yeovil and Birmingham. It will need to raise around £500,000 to get the service off the ground and is looking for individual investors.

Cross country route

The spokesperson for Go! co-operative added, “We have identified a cross country route that offers excellent potential for social and financial returns on investment. It uses existing track in a new way, to provide a real alternative to car travel. We aim to be running services on this route in 2011.”
Simon Carpenter added, “Currently, the services in Frome are crowded, expensive and infrequent, so this has to be a step in the right direction.”

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