Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Outcome of Meeting with Alison Forster - 1626/4304
Written by tonya on Tuesday, 13th March 2007

You can find the notes at:
Graham you are welcome to copy the notes over- but they are rather long!

Don't hold your breath though! I had hoped to be able to return to my allotment. Seems however that this train campaign is going to run and run.
We tried to raise most of your questions in our one and  a half hours. Apologies if we missed the odd point. If you have any specific questions don't hesitate to ask.
The only light at the end of the tunnel is what may be a significant revision to timetables in December.
There will be no more trains or rolling stock, at least that is their line at the moment, and they refused to deny that standard fares may rise again in September.

MTLS will next meet on Tuesday 3rd April upstairs in the Raven pub from 6:15 to 7:15 to plan our strategy. This meeting is not intended to be a talking shop- we can do that here! It will be planning further direct action, political and media lobbying and leafletting of passengers. If you want to be involved, please come along.

Re: Outcome of Meeting with Alison Forster - 1626/4313
Written by courgettelawn on Wednesday, 14th March 2007

I have just read some of the notes.  While I'm not surprised at her response, I am still disgusted.

How are they permitted to turn over such a huge profit while providing an appalling service, charging passenger high fares and taking subsidies from the government?  I have just received a response to a complaint I made to my MP Robert Key who wrote to Tom Harris of the Dept for Transport on my behalf.  I have summarised the response here:-

Re: Outcome of Meeting with Alison Forster - 1626/4317
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 15th March 2007

Many thanks for putting those questions and the feedback, Tony.  You did an impressive job of putting virtually every point and getting something / some feedback on most - very well done.

Looking at the substance of the answers, many of them are "same old answer regurgitated" which is, frankly, what we could have (and should have) expected.  But taking a step back and looking at what we WOULD have been told six months ago (before many of the folks here got involved) the answers are not much more positive, much more consiliatary.  And, yes, I know you might find that hard to believe!

So in summary .... I for one am certainly going to be carrying on making commercial points, applying elements of political pressure for what I continue to believe would be appropriate service levels - not asking for the earth, but asking for the system to be run in such a way that it puts the needs of its customers up on a platform of high regards, together with the needs of the DfT / Treasury, the train operator, and the local transport authority.

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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