Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Larger franchise areas loose us services - 533/1557
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Tuesday, 3rd October 2006

Part of a reply to an email this morning ...

One of the big issues that I have with the current system of enlarged franshises is that it encourages monopolistic behaviour in areas where there was previously competition. I've three specific services which I consider have been lost / reduced by the combination of Thames Trains, Great Western and Wessex trains into a single operation:
a) Swindon to Southampton
b) London to Worcester via Cheltenham
c) Bristol to Oxford.
In all three cases, the operator looses some public support by culling the service, but at the end of the day, the passengers still travel on his trains by a different route, so that only marginal income is lost.

In the case of Bristol to Oxford, passengers grumble but continue to use the train, changing at Didcot and adding a few minutes to their journey if there happens to be a good connection, adding rather more if the connections don't work. But still they use the train.

There's an issue with Cheltenham to Worcester services - a need for more of them and the natural extension is the Paddington to Cheltenham service.

Re: Larger franchise areas loose us services - 533/1561
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 3rd October 2006

[quote author=Graham Ellis link=topic=533.msg1557#msg1557 date=1159853912]Swindon to Westbury. My home turf.

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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