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Go-op plans new services from summer 2020


Community-owned rail operator Go-op Co-operative Ltd is seeking views on proposed new open access rail services in Somerset and Wiltshire. Services, which it hopes could start in summer 2020, would be operated by two refurbished Class 769 units working ‘a complex series of trips between Oxfordshire and Somerset’. The company’s aim is to give the market towns of Somerset and Wiltshire ‘a regular, functional service’, with a ‘carefully designed timetable’ to complement existing GWR services in the region.
The proposed timetable includes at least three direct services each way between Swindon and Oxford, with two extending to Nuneaton via Leamington and Coventry. Five trips would be provided between Swindon and Castle Cary, increasing the number of services at both Melskham and Frome, with services variously projected forward to Taunton and Yeovil. Connections at Banbury from the Coventry services would provide links to Solihull and Birmingham, while the Yeovil services would enable a viable link to Taunton via a change at Castle Cary. Swindon would also gain connections to Taunton and Yeovil with a mix of direct journeys and those requiring a change of train.
Go-op was set up by a group of rail travelers from the South West and first met as co-operative in 2009. It planned public meetings to consult on its plans, and is also looking to plan bus services to bring people to the stations served.

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