'Suck it and see'

By in Transport

AN appeal has been made to local rail passengers to use a shuttle service being provided by mainline operator GWR between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard this weekend.

GWR is providing seven round trips on Saturday and Sunday between the two stations to connect with West Somerset Railway trains to Minehead for the WSR diesel gala.

The journey takes 13 minutes.

Alex de Mendoza, chairman of Minehead Rail Link Group (MRLG), said: “I believe this is very much a ’suck it and see’ exercise by both rail operators to test the waters for further rail services between Minehead and Taunton.”

Mr de Mendoza said he saw the shuttle service as “a very small step” towards MRLG’s eventual goal of seeing a small commuter service to Taunton and back being established.

“A serious case of ’use it or lose it’ will be in play here,” he added.

“Unless both operators feel there is local ’ridership’ here along the length of the WSR line, further developments will be curtailed and not explored.”

He urged supporters of a Minehead-Taunton link to back the shuttle service: “Minehead’s economic and environmental future depends on us becoming better connected to the outside world.”