Connecting Wiltshire’s first birthday!15 Sep 2014
Connecting Wiltshire is celebrating its first birthday. The website has proved a hit with communities across the county as travellers continue to enjoy service improvements following Wiltshire Council’s successful bid for £4 million of funding from the Department of Transport.
An average of 4,000 people are logging onto the site every month attracted by the interactive journey planner which allows people to plot a route whether they are walking, cycling, driving or using the bus or train. Features include journey time and distance and even calories burnt and CO2 emissions. The planner now includes a recently-improved option showing how people can cycle or drive to a railway station as part of a trip. The Connecting Wiltshire website also includes updates on bus delays and fares using the latest information from the county’s bus companies.
The website was launched following the successful bid to the Department of Transport as part of a package of measures to introduce the new TransWilts rail service. Numbers of people using the new service have beaten predictions as improvements to the Westbury to Swindon railway line have seen more trains running through Melksham, a free bus service to the town’s station and cycle links and parking at other stations across Wiltshire.
New bus maps have been printed for Melksham, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge and Chippenham with a booklet for Malmesbury and a map for Salisbury Park & Ride following later this year.
An online bus map for the whole county will be launched as part of the Connecting Wiltshire website shortly.
A network of travel advisors are going out to residential areas, businesses and schools offering people trailored travel advice, information and incentives as well as helping to promote the new service.
Wiltshire Council has received positive feedback including:
“Excellent info received regarding cycling routes in our area and have already made lots of use of the fluorescent ruck sack cover & trolley ‘coin’”– Thankyou (Chippenham resident)
“We have just taken delivery of a carrier bag full of most useful information about buses, trains, bicycle routes, walking routes in and around Salisbury; it really is a most useful package, thank you very much indeed.” – Lynda Harrison.
“Thanks for contact I appreciated my travel pack, just got back from 18 mile bike ride, any chance of a pack showing how to avoid the rain!!!!”
Horace Prickett, portfolio holder for transport, said:
“Connecting Wiltshire has proved a vital tool as people across Wiltshire face the ever-increasing demands of travel. Wiltshire Council is working to improve travel across the county and highlight the alternatives to the car.
“The success of Connecting Wiltshire proves people are willing to change their travel arrangements and take advantage of the improvements to public transport in the county.”