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29 July: news in brief

Maynard returns to DfT

PAUL Maynard has returned to the DfT as a transport minister, as part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle. Grant Shapps had already returned to the Department as the new transport secretary, replacing Chris Grayling. Other new arrivals as ministers at the DfT are Chris Heaton-Harris (replacing Michael Ellis), and George Freeman.

First National Rail trains run on Minehead branch since 1971

NATIONAL Rail services ran on the Taunton to Minehead branch on 27 July for the first time since January 1971, and the inaugural train from Taunton was given a ceremonial departure by the Mayor of Taunton Francesca Smith and Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow. A GWR shuttle will now be running five times a day on selected Saturdays between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard, where they will connect with West Somerset Railway heritage services. The other dates announced so far are 3, 17 and 31 August, 7 and 21 September and 5 October. The experimental service is being supported by a £60,000 grant from GWR’s Customer & Communities Improvement Fund.

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