Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Growth plans for housing and jobs in North and West Wilts - 654/1977
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 18th November 2006

I thought you might be interested in some figures from the Regional Spatial Strategy that's under review / pending finalisation over the next month or so, showing how the South West area of the UK will grow (in terms of homes and employment) over the next 20 years - that's 2006 to 2026.

"Strategically Significant Towns and Cities" ...

Swindon to grow by 34000 homes and 32000 jobs
Chippenham to grow by 4500 homes and 6000 jobs
Trowbridge to grow by 5000 homes and 12000 jobs

Trowbridge is the only SSTC in West Wilts, accounting for 5000 homes of the 15500 extra homes planned for West Wilts, which leave an additional 10,500 homes to be built in West Wilts but not in Trowbridge. I've not got any indication of where those extra homes will go, but the options I see are:
a) In the countryside

Re: Growth plans for housing and jobs in North and West Wilts - 654/2023
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 22nd November 2006

This makes interesting reading Graham.

Re: Growth plans for housing and jobs in North and West Wilts - 654/2032
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 23rd November 2006

The 15500 extra homes (probably + 20% to 25%) in West Wilts are to be imposed by the government and then it's up to the local authority to decide where to place them (except that around 5000 are to be Trowbridge).  I have surmised / guessed what they would do in expanding 4 of the five existing towns, but it's possible that they could all go into one designated area.

Re: Growth plans for housing and jobs in North and West Wilts - 654/2033
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 23rd November 2006

Having just written "it's possible they could all go in one designated area", I worked out what that could look like:

Bratton and Edington New Town

To meet the extra housing needs of an expanding population in the next 20 years, an additional 11,000 to 12,500 new homes are to be built around the villages of Bratton and Edington in West Wiltshire. The population of the new town will rise to approximately 30,000 by 2026, so making it comparable in size with Trowbridge today.

Access to Bent (as the new town will be called) will be off the Westbury bypass, currently in the planning stage.

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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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