Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Dean and Dunbridge - other end of line - 166/401
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 25th February 2006

As well as Melksham, the stations at Dean and Dunbridge (on the Salisbury to Southampton section of the current service) also fac draconian cuts;  there's a furrory starting up down there now (Full article from loacl paper) and I note that First wrote ...

First's managing director, Alison Forster, said: "Unfortunately, the Dunbridge and Dean line is one of the routes where the new Department for Transport specification requires that we run fewer services than currently provided - reduced by them to three trains from Southampton and two trains from Westbury. We did not seek to reduce services from Dunbridge, but we were required to set a timetable based on the DfT service level commitment, and it is this timetable that we are now asking local authorities, stakeholders and our customers to comment on. Once this is complete we will be in a position to review where we need to seek permission for changes from the DfT. The final decision will be theirs, if they do not accept the changes we cannot run more services than they allow.

Much of this is in common with what the lady has told us, but I do note the commitment to review and seek permission from the DfT for change.

First have requested inputs on th edraft timetable by 8th March; Ms Forster's wordss above confirm that it IS worthwile making sure that logical and constructive comments to First group concerning replacement of services on the former Swindon to Southampton route.

Re: Dean and Dunbridge - other end of line - 166/412
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 28th February 2006

To quote from FGW's draft timetable headlines:

"Dunbridge and Dean reduced to 3 trains from Southampton and 2 trains from Westbury (as specified by DfT)"

Funny how cuts are always 'blamed' on the DfT, but First take credit for neutral or positive changes.

Re: Dean and Dunbridge - other end of line - 166/417
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 5th March 2006

Here is some more reaction from Dean - East Dean Parish Council - copied to me.

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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