Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Future flows to and from Salisbury - 4637/8460
Written by courgettelawn on Monday, 5th November 2007

Salisbury Vision - the plan to redevelop the city centre and its facilities has recently announced that one of its key priorities is to redevelop The Maltings and Central Carpark.  This is the nearest shopping quarter to the rail station, incidently.  They want it to be akin to the Princesshay development in Exeter.

With the proposal of a 1000 new jobs surely the catchment could be from the county itself?  And we don't want a 1000 extra cars coming into town!  I will write to the team asking them to consider talking now with FGW about restoring services on the TransWilts line to pre-empt this future need.

Re: Future flows to and from Salisbury - 4637/8523
Written by courgettelawn on Thursday, 8th November 2007

Just received an email from a very helpful person at Salisbury College regarding travel habits of students.  Excerpts below:

"I would love to support anybody who is aiming to improve public transport in Wiltshire! However, we have never conducted a travel survey and it would not be easy to find out how many of our students travel from Melksham or Chippenham. A search of the database could be made using post codes ,if you supplied them, but I don't know how big an area these cover."

[Please can someone give me the relevant postcodes to forward on?]

"I am responsible for administering the travel fund which helps students aged 16-18 who live too far away for WCC to support them. Although many come from as far as Gillingham and Shaftesbury, none come from Chippenham or Melksham, which suggests that they are more likely to choose the branches of Wiltshire College in their home town. I cannot speak for the older students.

The merger with Wiltshire College is unlikely to change the transport scenario as we have been assured that there will be no question of students or staff being expected to shuttle between the different sites. This would not be desirable or practical.
[My emphasis]

If you find out any useful information yourself regarding student travel we would of course be interested to know about it. I could if you wish send this on to the management team but, with an OFSTED inspection due, followed by the merger, you might not receive a swift and detailed response. Let me know if you'd like me to try."

So, sadly no more figures as yet.  However I wonder whether the lack of desire to have flexible attendance or use of different campuses (e.g. to use different libraries) is because travel is so damn difficult across Wiltshire?

Does anyone have any comments?

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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