Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3187
Written by Steve35 on Wednesday, 17th January 2007;jsessionid=BJG0PB0YPTBFVQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/17/nrail117.xml

Rail chief tells commuters they must stand

By Sally Peck and agencies
Last Updated: 3:56pm GMT 17/01/2007

The row over the quality of British train services intensified today as the top rail official said commuters should not expect seats during peak periods.

Dr Mike Mitchell, director general of railways at the Department for Transport, said it was "not realistic" for passengers travelling into London during the commuter peak to expect seats. He said ensuring seats would be too costly, and encouraged communters to travel in off-peak hours instead.

Gerry Doherty, general secretary for Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, the transport union, said "Dr Mitchell is arrogant and out of touch if he thinks this is acceptable for commuters not to get a seat when they are paying

Re: Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3191
Written by streety7 on Wednesday, 17th January 2007

[quote]Mr Bacon asked: "What do you call a short distance?"

Dr Mitchell replied: "Perhaps half an hour." [/quote]

That shocks me. I wouldn't be able to stand on a train for half an hour. Standing on a bus for 20 minutes is hard with all the stopping and starting, but standing on a train doing 125mph for me is unacceptable... especially for people who may NEED to sit down

Re: Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3214
Written by Steve Bray on Thursday, 18th January 2007

And we all know which esteemed Passenger Transport provider Dr Mitchell worked for, before moving to the DfT!!!

Re: Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3229
Written by bubblecat on Thursday, 18th January 2007

Surely not First Great Western?


The thing is - it's not just standing, it's crammed standing. I've actually heard this from a few people - "well, people on the tube do it, so what's the problem?"

The problem is half an hour in crammed conditions leads to people fainting. Not to mention the general stress that it causes, and the unfairness of those standing in those conditions paying the same as those sitting down.

It seems to me that there has never been a policy of comfortable transport in this country - although, looking at rail travel of the past, it looks pretty lovely to me.

Re: Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3235
Written by Lee on Friday, 19th January 2007

The link below contains more on this.

Apparently , "Dr Mitchell walked to work during the week and bought a standard rail ticket at weekends." & "FGW has agreed to bring six to eight carriages out of storage. However, it said that they would operate for a limited period."

"The company said that it was creating an extra 8,000 seats a day on its services but admitted that most of the increase would come from squeezing more seats on to existing trains. The number of tables will be reduced by more than half and passengers will have less legroom."

Tom Harris supported Dr Mitchell yesterday. He said:

Re: Dft boss shows his true colours - 1112/3255
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 20th January 2007

I've had some quite long discussions on the understanding of overcrowding on trains - I'm told that many people people get confused between "mean", "median" and "maximum".

It works like this (underground / North London Line example).

link to index of articles

Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.

Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.

The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.

We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.

-- Graham Ellis, (webmaster), February 2021

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