|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Raw deal - VERY raw deal indeed - 283/755
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 4th July 2006
I've just been summarising what the Swindon - Westbury - (onwards) train service has gained / lost from the re-franchise operation thus far.
a) ALL longer distance trains to be withdrawn
b) ALL daytime trains to be withdrawn - NOTHING between 07:45 and 18:45
c) Number of trains to be cut by 60% (Monday to Friday)
d) Commuter-time train significantly moved earlier (morning), later (evening) against consultation requests
e) Staff have new uniforms and we're to get station enhancements such as a new information point
f) Fares for a day trip to London on a weekday, bought on the day, to rise from a minimum of 45 pounds (Saver return) to 112 pounds (standard open return) in December
g) Improved train-to-bus connection at Chippenham, which formed part of the First bid, is NOT happening
The users have delivered dramatic growth in the past five years with some indicators giving rise to headline statistics of over 700%. Full-year statistics now show an average of 32 passengers per train.
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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
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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