MORE trains between Taunton and London and faster journey times are being promised before Christmas.

Great Western Railway says it will run three more services a day between Paddington and the South West - and they will operate non-stop between Reading and Taunton.

The train company also says it expects to knock up to 11 minutes off the journey from Paddington to Penzance and eight minutes between Paddington and Plymouth - although the plans must meet final industry approvals.

A two-hourly semi-fast service between Paddington and Exeter St Davids will call at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary, Taunton and Tiverton Parkway.

A GWR spokesman said train services between Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and London will be "transformed" as the timetable is sped up from Sunday, December 15.

He added: "The planned improvements are so significant, especially for those who travel regularly and who are used to catching a particular service every day, that GWR has launched an awareness campaign to highlight the changes ahead and to make sure customers are prepared.

"It is the biggest timetable change on the network since 1976. GWR’s Intercity Express Trains (IETs) will take advantage of recent infrastructure improvements to deliver a series of improvements.

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GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: "It’s a little over three months until Sunday, December 15, and we have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare to implement the biggest timetable change on this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing.

"In providing more frequent and quicker journeys our new timetable will for the vast majority of users quite literally mean ‘all change please’ and we are looking forward to publishing further details soon.”

Changes will also take place to branch line services, designed to improve capacity at the busiest times of the day and provide a more consistent service throughout the day: