Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
London Mayor Plans To Take Public Control Of Rail Services - 4775/8711
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 20th November 2007

Half of Britain

Re: London Mayor Plans To Take Public Control Of Rail Services - 4775/8792
Written by Lee on Sunday, 25th November 2007

Christian Wolmar's view (link below.),07.shtml

Re: London Mayor Plans To Take Public Control Of Rail Services - 4775/10700
Written by Lee on Monday, 10th March 2008

[quote author=Lee link=topic=4775.msg8711#msg8711 date=1195568818]
Ken Livingstone , the Mayor of London , is preparing to submit a bid next year to take over most of Southern , one of the biggest train franchises , from 2009. He is also drawing up plans to take control of all commuter trains that terminate in the capital , including those that start their journeys well beyond Greater London.[/quote]

Ken Livingstone is in talks with the government over ambitious plans to extend his London transport empire by absorbing one of the capital's most lucrative rail franchises (link below.)

The mayor of London is confident of securing the inner-city portion of the Southern franchise as part of his Overground rail network after talks with No 10 and the Department for Transport. The proposal has met with strenuous opposition from train operators and is believed to have concerned some officials within the Department for Transport, who are worried about the complexity of splitting one of the capital's biggest franchises in two.

However, transport secretary Ruth Kelly has told officials the she wants "the best possible deal for Londoners" and is interested in the plan. Livingstone's Transport for London body took over part of the former Silverlink franchise and rebranded it as the London Overground network last year, but the route operated within London only.

The Southern metro route, which runs from London's Waterloo and Victoria stations to Croydon and Dorking, would be the first step in Livingstone's strategy of controlling all franchises operating in and out of the capital. TfL would set fare and service levels while outsourcing operation of the franchise for a fixed fee.

The DfT and TfL declined to comment, but the debate over Southern's future is thought to be behind the delay in re-tendering the franchise, which expires next year. Livingstone is also believed to have secured backing for the Southern proposal from No 10.

Re: London Mayor Plans To Take Public Control Of Rail Services - 4775/10752
Written by Lee on Thursday, 13th March 2008

The Department of Transport has confirmed the Guardian report that it is talking to mayor Ken Livingstone about the future of Southern (link below.)

The talks between Livingstone and the DfT have reportedly delayed re-tendering of the franchise, which is due to expire next year.

'We are in discussions with the mayor and other industry partners about how we can respond to what passengers want from South Central, but no decisions have been taken,' a spokeswoman for the DfT said without elaborating.

The spokeswoman said the department hopes to issue a preliminary notice providing potential bidders with information about the future South Central franchise 'soon', but refused to give a timescale.

She also declined to say whether the department is considering rolling out the TfL London Overground model, under which TfL outsources train operations, but retains control of fares and service levels, to other franchises in London or elsewhere in the UK.

TfL declined to comment, although plans for expanding London Overground are expected to form part of Livingstone's transport manifesto, which he is launching today ahead of the mayoral elections in May.

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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

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