Somerset

Community plan for Bristol to Weymouth railway route

Rail users could soon have more of a say in how a rail link between Bristol and Weymouth is run.

The route, which serves towns such as Trowbridge, Westbury, Yeovil and Dorchester could be designated a community rail service.

It will mean more direct community involvement in the planning and running of services.

The Department of Transport has opened a consultation and said the change could be made by the end of 2011.

Transport secretary Theresa Villiers said in a letter to Yeovil MP David Laws that the route could carry more passengers and would be "better value for money".

Mr Laws said the route was "key" but that current services were "too infrequent and often overcrowded".

"The priority here has to be the needs of local residents, and if this new designation means greater local influence and satisfaction," he said.

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