Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
lack of political support - 239/612
Written by aik4on on Thursday, 18th May 2006

the problem with this campaign is lack of political support.  It took only shadown transport minister chris grayling to kick up a fuss about Romsey/Dean/Dunbridge to get the Southampton - Westbury shuttle service introduced.  In the Thames Valley, Theresa May's high profile actions won considerable improvements for services from Maidenhead.

This campaign has had no real political backing with Andrew Murrisson more worried about the SWT Waterloo service and Ancram and James Gray hardly mentioning the issue.  What is Wiltshire County Council doing?  Nothing, seemingly.

Re: lack of political support - 239/614
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 18th May 2006

Yes, I agree that political support is lacking.  Remember that both Chippenham and Melksham are being hived off from their current constituencies at the next election, so why should Gray and Ancram bother?  Note the huge difference in approach at Bedwyn, also in the Devizes constituency .... but REMAINING in at the next election

Re: lack of political support - 239/620
Written by Sion Bretton on Saturday, 20th May 2006

when is the next general election?

Re: lack of political support - 239/625
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 21st May 2006

Probably in 3 or 4years. After Gordon has taken over from Tony.  So it would be up yo Gordon to set a date.  The boundary changes come in next year or in 2008.

However, we *may* now be getting some more political support  after all. Chippenham / Melksham will be a Tory / Liberal marginal.

Re: lack of political support - 239/642
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 28th May 2006

I do have emails / rumblings of more higher profile political support ... I REALLY hope to be able to publish something here and make a big splash in the next few days .... I hope it isn't a question of too little / too late ...

Re: lack of political support - 239/648
Written by aik4on on Thursday, 1st June 2006

the potential political supporters will need to be quick.  I'm reliably informed the timetable will be set in stone by early July and no changes will then be possible until June 2007.

Re: lack of political support - 239/653
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 1st June 2006

I hear the same - perhaps even with shorter time scales.

I have a letter from Mr Ancram in the post, just arrived, that tells me he's taken it up with Mr Twigg again ...

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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