Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Growth In Passenger Journeys By Train Doubles In 2006 - 1438/3960
Written by Lee on Saturday, 17th February 2007

Passenger journeys on the National Rail network increased by 6.7% during 2006 to a sixty year high of 1.147bn , according to the Association of Train Operating Companies (link below.)

This is the highest number of passenger journeys ever made on the post-Beeching rail network , which is now around half the size it was in 1946.

According to ATOC , around 3.2m journeys are made on the railway network every day. Passenger journeys have increased by more than 50% since 1995/6. Significant increases in passenger journeys have been experienced across the whole country with headline figures including :

A 9.7% rise on long distance services (71% increase since 1995/6)
A 6.0% rise on London and south east services (48% since 1995/6)
A 7.3% rise on regional services (52% increase since 1995/6)

Quote :

"There is a huge programme of work in hand aimed at meeting rising demand - some projects are already underway and others are at an advanced stage of planning between government and the industry, ready for approval. The new High Speed 1 rail link to France is virtually complete and will handle domestic traffic from Kent in 2009. The Thameslink Programme has received Parliamentary approval and if it gets the final go ahead will massively expand capacity into London from both the north and the south. Crossrail, currently before Parliament, will address traffic east and west of London as well as through traffic."

But despite railway spending being at a record high , few projects to increase capacity have been sanctioned by the government with recent franchise agreements concentrating on squeezing more out of the existing network , rather than investing in infrastructure. The Thameslink and Crossrail projects have yet to secure funding and will take more than three years to implement even if they secure funding this summer.

Re: Growth In Passenger Journeys By Train Doubles In 2006 - 1438/3961
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 17th February 2007

[quote]George Muir, director general of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: "This has been a very successful year for the railway - people are increasingly turning to rail. For the first time we are seeing the environmental benefits of rail becoming a significant factor in how people choose to travel around the UK."[/quote]

I do hope that the service amendments made last December under the FGW franchise and elsewhere haven't had too much of a dempening effect on the growth.  I'm best qualified to speak for the TransWilts service which was growing considerably in excess of Mr Muir's figures but on current service is heading for a drop of around 90%. Quite simply, people can't travel by train even if they wish to when there's no service from dawn to dusk!

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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