Published on : Tuesday, May 10, 2016
South West Trains first summer special services to Dorchester and Weymouth start Saturday 21 May, providing extra services to better connect communities as well as boosting the local economy in Dorset.
The new services follow an agreement between South West Trains and Dorset County Council and provide direct services from Gillingham and Sherborne to Dorchester and Weymouth on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays throughout the spring and summer.
South West Trains will also be serving Maiden Newton, Chetnole, Yetminster and Thornford for the first time as well as restoring a direct link between Maiden Newton and London for the first time since 1968.
Tickets are now on sale and returns start from just £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.
Chris Loder, Head of Service Strategy for South West Trains, said: “The summer special services will provide new services on the Heart of Wessex line – helping to support local communities, businesses and provide even better connectivity for local residents and visitors during the booming spring and summer months.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming our first passengers on board these services next month and with adult return tickets starting from just £5, we hope this will be a popular service.”
Robert Gould, Leader of Dorset County Council, added: “By using Local Transport Plan Funds we are building a strategic link between London and Weymouth to help the seaside town’s economy grow and to give people a real alternative to the car.”
Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, added: “I warmly welcome any idea which brings visitors to Weymouth. Summer, ‘seaside specials’ from the north of the county will give day trippers direct, traffic-free access to the centre of Weymouth. Once they have enjoyed the beautiful beaches, clear blue water and our great shops and restaurants, I’m sure they’ll be back.
“We hope that these specials will herald a new, more frequent rail service via Yeovil Junction to points beyond, including North Dorset, East Devon and London.
“Local MPs, LEPs and Councils are working hard on this with the Minister for Transport, Claire Perry. Consultation is currently underway with communities and rail users and we hope for positive information soon.”
Councillor Alan Goff, Chair of Maiden Newton Parish Council, added: “Maiden Newton Parish Council, on behalf of our residents, welcome the improvements to rail services to and from Maiden Newton which will be provided by the new Saturday timetable being introduced by South West Trains on Saturday 21 May.”
Summer specials will operate on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays between 21st May and 3rd September inclusive.
Gillingham, Templecombe and Sherborne to Dorchester and Weymouth –
Tisbury and Salisbury to Dorchester or Weymouth –
Summer Specials timetable –
Further Summer Saturday services –
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