A new summer timetable on the Great Western Railway (GWR) network will "deliver more trains where they are needed most", starting this Sunday.

Direct services between Bristol Temple Meads and Oxford are planned to be restored for the first time in more than 20 years.

In response to growth in demand for leisure travel, GWR will run two return Saturday services between the cities from September, with the last service running in 2003.

The services will run from 14 September through to 14 December as a pilot to assess demand, including on Saturdays of the Bath Christmas Market.

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The new timetable sees the return of weekday, SuperFast services between London Paddington and South Wales for the first time since March 2020 - the doubling of noon capacity from London Paddington and Plymouth - and additional services on the corridor between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, as well as additional services to summer holiday destinations.

GWR managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “We are continuing to work closely with our industry partners to improve performance and capacity so that we can deliver the services our customers expect. 

“Services that help to support the local and regional economy and connect people to work, to schools and colleges, to friends and family and to some of the best leisure destinations in the UK.”

Two new early evening weekday services between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway allow for the introduction of two SuperFast trains to Swansea, with journey-time savings of up to 30 minutes.

The trains run fast from London Paddington to Bristol Parkway, not stopping at Reading and Swindon, before continuing to south Wales, meaning huge time savings.

Reflecting the demand for services towards Devon and Cornwall, especially at noon, a new service has been created at 12.04 and will serve intermediate stations.

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The previous 12.04 is being retimed to run at 12.02, and will run direct to Exeter and onto Plymouth, before heading to stations in Cornwall.

This focuses resources on this really important leisure flow, doubling the number of trains at that time of day.

Direct services between Bristol Temple Meads and Oxford are also planned to be restored for the first time in more than 20 years.

Oxford Mail:

Helping people to make more sustainable transport choices, the half-hourly services introduced last December between Reading and Gatwick airport are being retimed to make a better clock-face timetable. 

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Starting this weekend, there will also be seasonal changes to trains to reflect summer demand.

These include additional services between Bristol and Weymouth as well as extra services between Paddington and Newquay.

Trains are being extended to serve the Pembroke Dock, starting from London Paddington, as well as many other alterations.

Early-morning services from Exeter to Plymouth have also been amended to allow for an earlier arrival to support travel to work at Devonport Dockyard. 

This follows a request from Babcock International to support modal switch from private car to public transport.

This will mean some earlier starts and arrivals in both Devon and Cornwall.