Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/7850
Written by Lee on Thursday, 27th September 2007

Rail ticketing will be made simpler and easier to understand , Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has promised (link below.)

Her pledge follows a survey by Which? suggesting about only half of people who make enquiries get the "best deal".

In one example , a passenger making a return journey between Swindon and Penzance twice in the same week could buy a Freedom of the South West rover ticket for

Re: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/7855
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 27th September 2007

I was listening to the radio this morning on my way to Bracknell ... and I heard the reports on the Consumer's association survey. 

I'm not surprised at their "50% wrong" figure, though I have often found that there's also a problem with some customers not knowing what to ask for, which probably (I don't know about this survey) contributes to the alarming proportion of incorrect tickets.  My heart goes out especially to visitors to the UK who will ask for "a ticket to Chippenham" off peak at Paddington and be chargesd (last year's figure) 41 pounds, then find they have to pay a further 41 to get back, but by paying 42 pounds could have had a return.

"We sold him what he asked for" say the railway company.  Yes, I know, but you also sold him a ticket  where you'll make an extra 40 pounds from the round trip.  It costs nothing to ask "when will you be coming back - it will only be a pound more", and it would be the decent thing to do.

Yes, there is a need to simlify and rationalise.  27 different adult single fares, Melksham to London, is ludicrous. Having nowhere in the town that you can but the advanced purchase ones, making a trip so somewhere like Chippenham necessary to pick them up if you don't leave time for them to be posted seems calculated to minimise their sale ....

Re: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/7860
Written by Industry Insider on Thursday, 27th September 2007

How many times in my railway career have I heard various people pledging to make the fares structure cheaper!? There is no doubt that it has in fact got more complicated, but this is in some part due to privatisation giving TOC's a licence to be more flexible and give passengers a more varied choice. There are some remarkably cheap fares to be had out there, and there are some remarkably expensive ones (that the press always pick up on). The balance is to offer a flexible range of tickets which aims to fill most of the trains you operate as evenly as possible - from the businessmen/women in the morning who don't give a fig coz it's on their companies expenses, to the cost concious off-peak traveller. Has the railway industry gone to far though?

I hope that the Which? surveys questionairre wasn't filled with questions that deliberatly try to catch an enquiry clerk out with total obscureness, such as the Swindon to Penzance query mentioned. Having worked in one of the old Telephone Enquiry Bureaus for many years at the start of my career, I can only sympathise with how difficult it can be to provide 100% correct answers to questions such as that - after all if you have 27 different options to explain to the customer that wants to go to London from Melksham, what chance to you have!

Re: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/11824
Written by Lee on Thursday, 24th April 2008

The new ticket structure comes into effect on May 18 (links below.)

Re: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/11937
Written by Nick on Saturday, 26th April 2008

How many factors are there that determine fare prices? There must be hundreds... everything from the train being too full, to the train being under-used would have to be included.

Re: Rail Tickets 'To Be Made Simpler' - 4205/11960
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 27th April 2008

I had a look at a date just after 18th May ... for a Melksham to London single.  just one train offered - 19:47 - and it's now showing not 27 but 37 different fares.  I do think that's still the old scheme though!  Single anywhere from 8.50 (a bargain, and available for once!) to 99.50 First Class, Open, also valid via Westbury

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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