Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
DfT Closure Guidance Example - 626/1881
Written by Lee on Thursday, 9th November 2006

The DfT have posted a worked example of the new closure guidance on their website (link below.)

In the example , they conclude that closing the LINE cannot be pursued because the retention of the current service yields a benefit to cost ratio (BCR) of 3.35.

However , it is noted that option 3 would yield the highest BCR.

Option 3 is a 90 minute interval , limited stop service with local stations closed.

Quote :

"It is for the funding authority to decide which option to adopt."

Re: DfT Closure Guidance Example - 626/1882
Written by Lee on Thursday, 9th November 2006

In other words , the closure guidance example reaches almost exactly the same conclusion as Jacobs did in the quote below :

[quote author=Lee link=topic=577.msg1739#msg1739 date=1161877109]Yes , Graham , I am afraid it does.

Here is a link to a January 2006 article by Christian Wolmar on the new DfT Closure Guidance.,06.shtml

Quotes from the above link :

"An army of consultants will decide whether lines should stay open or close. A law passed last year has reduced the right of passengers to object to closures."

"The 83-page consultation paper uses a new kind of cost-benefit analysis, which, experts say, will highlight the economically fragile state of the network. Such analysis often penalises trains because it fails to take into account that they are environmentally friendly. As one senior rail industry figure put it last night: "The trouble with consultants is they will do exactly what ministers want them to do."

Jacobs Consultancy would be front - runners to perform this task. Here is a link to the Greater Western Franchise Replacement Outline Business Case Report.

Jacobs recommended for progression or further work , closure or "parliamentary service" options for the following stations :

Islip , Bicester Town , Tackley , Heyford , Kings Sutton , Combe , Finstock , Ascott-Under-Wychwood , Shipton , Shalford , Chilworth , Gomshall , Dorking West , Betchworth , Dilton Marsh , Dean , Dunbridge , Sea Mills , Shirehampton , Avonmouth , St Andrews Road , Severn Beach , Newton St Cyres , Yeoford , Copplestone , Morchard Road , Lapford , Kings Nympton , Portsmouth Arms , Umberleigh , Chapelton , Luxulyan , Bugle , Roche , St Columb Road , Quintrell Downs , Coombe , St Keyne , Causeland and Sandplace.

Interestingly , the option to close intermediate stations on the Exmouth line was rejected. Also , several service options were considered for Devonport , Dockyard , Keyham , St Budeaux , Saltash , St Germans , Menheniot , Lostwithiel and Hayle (including closure) but Jacobs decided to reject ALL of them.

Where Jacobs recommended closure options for progression or further work , they did so largely when a case could be made on the following grounds :

1) Reduction in costs or subsidy.
2) Improved performance or reduced journey times.

Some believe that the DfT were intent on implementing Beeching 2 but were forced to back down by the adverse public reaction to the original FGW December 2006 Draft Timetable.

If this is the case then they would appear to have failed to inform Network Rail. Have a look at the link below.

And then the quote below :

[quote author=Lee link=topic=434.msg1286#msg1286 date=1156594364]Network Rail believe reducing needless stops will streamline journeys (links below.)

Key quote "For one [station] that is very lightly used, you have to question whether it should stay open. Some could be replaced with stations that are closer to communities and more integrated with buses." - Iain Coucher, Network Rail's deputy chief executive

Here is a link entitled "Stations At Risk."[/quote][/quote]

This is why I worry when Franchise Agreements contain clauses such as this :

"(b) developing and promoting an interurban network for Cornwall to be known as "Network Kernow"

It should also be noted that "Option 3" requires one less unit than the existing service under consideration in the closure guidance example.

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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