Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1342
Written by Lee on Friday, 1st September 2006

At least Melksham passengers can take comfort from the link below.

"Tom Stables, First Great Western's Commercial Director said: "We knew that Firstminutefares would be popular, but this growth has exceeded our expectations. One of our key aims is to attract people to rail travel, and bringing the cost of fares down for off-peak travel is one way of doing that."

"Tom continues: "If you're looking to join the tens of thousands of people who have already taken advantage of Firstminutefares, the key is to travel off-peak and book as early as possible. It's as simple as that. You can now book as far ahead as the 12 November."

That's great news for all Westbury - Swindon passengers planning to travel off - peak , both now and in the the future.

"From December 9, all daytime and rush-hour trains are to be withdrawn from the Swindon to Westbury route, leaving Melksham with no services at all between 7.17am and 7.08pm."

"We are in a position to add services that are commercially viable, but the trains being removed from Melksham are off-peak and only lightly used, so we are not in a position to add services there."

Oh dear , I nearly forgot.

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1345
Written by rogerco on Friday, 1st September 2006

Phew - talk about good in parts.
Yes the simplification of fare structures and the introduction of more flexibility by mix'n'match singles is a great improvement - and its good to see that it is leading to increased passenger numbers...
...where there are trains.

Of course if no trains stop then there is no possibility of increasing passenger numbers, and apart from the few who have fixed journey times that match the fewer available trains there will no benefit from improved fare structures for Melksham.

This means Melksham numbers will not grow, when all the other stations are growing and the axe will swing ever lower - they will conveniently forget that the reason passenger numbers don't increase is because trains no longer stop.

A shame, because in many ways FGW are showing signs of actually wanting to run a successful railway for both local and long-distance use. The really important thing is to keep the station open so that it is still there in between 2 and 10 years time when driving becomes unviable (google "peak oil" to find out why)

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1350
Written by Lee on Saturday, 2nd September 2006

I certainly agree with you on Melksham , Roger.

It should also be remembered that the only places on the Swindon - Southampton route that you can currently get a Firstminute fare from Melksham to are Romsey & Southampton (as low as

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1357
Written by RichardB on Saturday, 2nd September 2006

The press release from First Great Western is a prime example of giving the public a piece of good news.  Sadly life is not always full of good news.

It is commendable that 60,000 journeys a week are being made using a new

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1360
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 2nd September 2006

Cheap fares on off peak services can be an excellent way of taking the load off peak trains and persuading people onto shoulder services.

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1362
Written by Sion Bretton on Sunday, 3rd September 2006

I have purchaesd a ticket to go to London on 13.35 out of Melksham  on 30/10/06 (change at swindon) for

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1385
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 5th September 2006

Here is another quote from one of the First Great Western links above :

"However, if you do most of your travelling locally then you might be interested in the Devon Railcard or the Cornish Railcard, both of which cost just

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1409
Written by Lee on Saturday, 9th September 2006

Chris Irwin has echoed the call by Saltash Rail Users Group that urges passengers to renew their Cornish Railcard by the end of today , and has accused First Great Western of forcing some commuters in Cornwall to endure travel cost increases because of the changes. (link below.)

The old Cornish Railcard offered people in Cornwall and Plymouth a third off standard class fares on any route between Plymouth and Penzance , including branch lines. They are valid for a year.

First said it was combining its Cornish Railcard with its Devon counterpart (as predicted by Saltash Rail Users Group) , and that its new season tickets , which are available from next week , would continue a one-third discount for commuters. But its price is based on passengers using services five days a week.

Chris Irwin said: "It will impact on people who do part-time work, and on anyone who travels the slightest bit regularly before 9.30am unless they've got a season ticket.

"My message is to go and buy the current Cornish Railcard sometime before offices close on Saturday evening."

BBC South West Business Correspondent Neil Gallacher said: "First said since it began its new franchise, it had cut the price of Cheap Day Return, Cornish Day Ranger and Devon Day Ranger tickets.

"But it is clear that because the franchise requires First to hand

Re: More People Pay Less Thanks To First Great Western's New Fares - 459/1417
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 11th September 2006

The whole fare structure seems to my eye to be a ruddy mess ... and I would expect a company such as First to look to rejig it to maximise their income while not extending their expenditure.  The fact that they've a monopoly over public transport in some of the areas, and don't seem averse to putting unpopular price rises and service changes through makes this sort of thing (new 09:30 restrictions) no great surprise.  At the same time, their excellent publicity machine will milk any new lower fares added, and I guess so it should.

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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