Transport Report – Christmas and New Year
The Christmas and New Year bus services, serving Chiseldon are as follows:
Normal Monday-Saturday services in the week before Christmas. There are no buses on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Normal services on 27th December to 30th December. Limited buses on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The last bus from Swindon on each Saturday 23rd and 30th December is the 17.55 Stagecoach 80 service into the village and 18.30 Salisbury Reds X5 which stops on the main road.
The Go Ahead Group Go South Coast who run Salisbury Reds Bus Company and Thamesdown Swindon’s Bus Company and a number of other bus companies in the South of England have been awarded the Bus Operator of the Year Award. This has been presented for the innovations and the standard of service and staff provided by these bus companies. It has been a busy year with this company taking over Thamesdown Buses from SBC.
The current driving test changed from Monday 4th December with many changes including using a satnav and more driving and less manoeuvres. This does not yet include motorway driving but should increase the standard for young drivers.
M4 motorway changes include the Severn Bridges coming back into public ownership on 8th January 2018 with a reduction in tolls due to VAT no longer being applied. From 1st January 2019 tolls will no longer be charged. There are two more weekends of weekend closures between J13 to J12 over the weekend of 15th-18th December 2018 and 12th-15th January 2018. These closures are from 10.00pm on the Friday night to 5.00am on the Monday morning. This is to repair to over bridges with alternative route via the A34 Newbury and A4 re-joining at Theale.
The Great Western franchise for the trains from Swindon has been extended to April 2020 to allow more time for the route to be electrified and for the new trains to bed in. There has been talk of a different company to run the local trains.
Train fares throughout the country are going up in January between 3.4 and 3.6%, which will affect commuters from Swindon and the local area.
If you are travelling by train for Christmas, please travel before 23rd December as you will not be able to get into London Paddington after that date until the New Year, due to Cross Rail improvements.