Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Severn Tunnel Junction Press Release - 1141/3269
Written by Lee on Saturday, 20th January 2007

Two of Wales' leading train providers are being urged to enhance the provision and quality of service.

Newport East AM John Griffith, MP Jessica Morden and Chepstow Cllr Armand Watts launched a joint attack expressing their concern over the lack of train services stopping at the Severn Tunnel Junction.

The Central Trains service from Gloucester to Cardiff Central passes through the station up to 14 times daily, yet does not stop. Instead, commuters must await a 2 hourly Arriva Trains Wales service.

John Griffiths AM said: "The distinct lack of Central Trains provision to Severn Tunnel junction has the effect of alienating a large concentration of commuters. Consequently, there could be a dreadful knock on effect of forcing commuters into their cars and abandoning their preferred sustainable transport means. This is simply unacceptable.

Armand Watts, Cllr for Chepstow added: "I am deeply concerned that Central Trains are ignoring our pleas. It is ludicrous that trains do not stop there. Something needs to be done.

John Griffiths AM and Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East working with the community campaign team, had successes last December in reinstating First Great Western train services to the station, but are now calling for more carriages to be provided.

Jessica Morden MP said 'We need better services from all the train operators to encourage people to use trains from key commuter areas like Severn Tunnel Junction." Jessica Morden went on to say "I welcome further consultation from First Great Western on their cross country services and will be making the strongest representations to them about increasing the number of stopping services at Severn Tunnel Junction and ensuring that the trains that do stop have enough carriages for people to travel comfortably and safely.'

John Griffiths AM added: "It is essential that First Great Western make a strong commitment to improve their quality of service. There continues to be horrific overcrowding on this crucial route which poses a considerable health hazard and puts additional stress on commuters which travel this arduous journey daily.

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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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