Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
westbury support - 247/649
Written by aik4on on Thursday, 1st June 2006

I'm amazed those who catch the train from Westbury, particularly commuters, aren't more 'up in arms' about the December 2006 timetable.

Do they realise that from December the only morning *direct* train to Swindon will be around half an hour earlier than the current 0730 service and the evening service will be around half an hour later than the current 1743 service.

Of course, there's an alternative but this involves changing at Bath Spa, and therefore a significantly increased journey time even with a reasonable connection at Bath.

I know this campaign is principally about Melksham but you might find you'd get louder support if you were to open it up a bit so that other people who use the service were clear about the implications of the new timetable.

Re: westbury support - 247/652
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 1st June 2006

Hi, we're utterly open to the whole line / use - indeed you'll find me talking a lot about Swindon to SOuthampton and TransWilts.  True, the seed for the campaign was Melksham.  And if you ask (as I did) for statistics for journeys on the line as a whole, the office of the rail regulator will say "all we have is figures for ticket sales at Melksham ...." so it goes full circle.

In practise, it's much more complex even than that; many travellers make connections and other services will be effected - in other words, the income lost by the railway would be more that just the fares on th elocal train.  But, alas, many of the users aren't the letter writing / compaining sort who will write to the powers that be, or attend meetings that much.  I suppose it's people who inclinded to be articulate have probably enough money to own and run a car .... that's a dreadful, sweeping generlisation of course and a very tough point to make and remain p.c.

Re: westbury support - 247/654
Written by aik4on on Friday, 2nd June 2006

True, although I know a significant number of people drive to Westbury or Trowbridge to catch the Swindon train. (The alternative being a fairly hellish and not to mention expensive drive which can take an hour-and-a-half!) For commuters it's often a case of there not being time to engage in letter writing or campaigning.

Re: westbury support - 247/655
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 3rd June 2006

Alas, a few half-hours spent letter writing, the odd evening attending a meeting to be addressed by an MP, could have saved so many hour-and-a-half commutes from Trowbridge to Swindon in the future.

Re: westbury support - 247/727
Written by Sion Bretton on Thursday, 29th June 2006

Yes the line is not just used by folks in Melksham, I think folks in Trowbridge & Chippenham should make a noise who use the service as well. As it saves they going via Bath.

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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