Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Plaid Cymru Press Release - 1170/3344
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 23rd January 2007

Plaid's National Assembly Candidate for Monmouth, Jonathan Clark and Jocelyn Davies, Plaid Assembly Member for South East Wales called for the National Assembly to develop an affordable, sustainable public transport system for Wales and for a comprehensive programme of improvements, including enhanced powers to regulate bus services and upgrading infrastructure and rail services in South East Wales.

Plaid, in its nominated debate today (Tuesday 23rd January) are focussing on Public Transport. Plaid believes that our economy and social life depend on an environmentally acceptable transport system and is calling for a comprehensive programme of improvements, including enhanced powers to regulate bus services and upgrading infrastructure and rail services in rural and valley areas.

Jonathan Clark said:

"If our communities are going to survive and develop in the 21st Century they need an affordable, reliable, sustainable public transport system. Wales need to re-discover the not entirely alien concept of an integrated public transport system. An efficient public transport system is vital in the battle against climate change.

Our railway stations have been neglected for too long - they are a vital part of the regional transport network. They should feed passengers into the national rail network with direct links to local communities via local bus services and secure park and ride facilities. Under New Labour train fares are the most expensive in the EU."

Jocelyn Davies said:

"Plans to re-open passenger services on the Ebbw Valley Rail Line are welcome but we need to go further and consider redeveloping our existing railways and, subject to feasibility studies, consider reopening other old railways and building new stations with bus links and secure park and ride facilities.

Recently First Great Western tried to downgrade services from Severn Tunnel Junction Station but, thanks to the efforts of the Severn Tunnel Action Group, the services were re-instated. This move to cut services should never have been allowed to take place in the first place."

Plaid would bring in re-regulation of bus services with a new national transport authority setting fares, routes and timetables, so that services run where people want them, not where the greatest profit is to be made.

Plaid has tabled the following motion:

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

Believes that our economy and social life depend on an environmentally acceptable transport system; and

a) Calls on the Assembly Government to commit itself to a comprehensive programme of improvement to our public transport system, which includes:

(i) seeking enhanced powers to deal with public transport, in particular to regulate bus services;
(ii) improving train and coach links between the North and South;
(III) upgrading infrastructure and rail services in rural areas and the valleys of the South

b) Regrets that the continued increase in the cost and complexity of train fares are a deterrent to the use of public transport.

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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