Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Douglas Alexander Speech To The Rail 100 Breakfast Club Annual Dinner - 720/2127
Written by Lee on Friday, 1st December 2006

Here is a link to a speech by Rt Hon. Douglas Alexander , Secretary of State for Transport to the Rail 100 Breakfast Club Annual Dinner on 30 November 2006.

Key passage :

"As I have mentioned, Rod Eddington will publish his report examining the links between transport and growth. It is absolutely crucial that we make the right choices for the long term, to get the very best we can out of the network.

I don't pretend that the choices will be easy. We will not be able to buy everything we want and priorities will have to be made. But the key principle of our railway is to support and enable the economic growth of the country.

It is therefore not a question of whether the railway needs to grow - it clearly does. But it is a question of where, when and how and at what cost.

Before we decide on a solution we need to know the problem. For rail that means we need to know where the demand is. Where people will want to travel to and from. Not just in the short term but in the long term too.

Any solutions need to be looked at in the context of driving the continued economic growth. And all the options need to be considered in the national interest.

These are big questions. They need to be addressed, Rod Eddington's report tomorrow will not be the final word but it will be an important part of our considerations."

Here is a link to the Eddington Transport Study.

Here are links to Times articles on this.,,2-2481012,00.html,,2-2481880,00.html

"For that reason ministers will consider the introduction of double-deck trains on busy routes, and the report proposes longer trains on commuter routes. Sir Rod will back the building of new rail freight links to major ports and better road access from the motorways to the ports. He will also propose cycling and walking schemes."

"Sir Rod

Re: Douglas Alexander Speech To The Rail 100 Breakfast Club Annual Dinner - 720/2138
Written by Lee on Saturday, 2nd December 2006

Here is the RMT view on this (link below.)

Here is the view from Wales (link below.)

Here is the Transport 2000 view (link below.)

Scotland's related strategy can be found in the link below.

Here are some more articles on this , including an interesting glimpse at how future Conservative policy might shape up (links below.)

"The Tories said last night that the 30-year timescale was too long and he should not have ruled out new high-speed rail links. "He is saying there should be no big projects. We say that is premature," said Mr Grayling. "But we are saying we don't want to see an early move to a national untested road-pricing scheme."

"Priorities identified by the Tories include increasing capacity into the City of London and Canary Wharf, designated growth areas in the Thames Gateway, congestion in Birmingham, and inadequate services in the West of England."

Re: Douglas Alexander Speech To The Rail 100 Breakfast Club Annual Dinner - 720/2184
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 5th December 2006

Christian Wolmar gives his view on the Eddington Transport Study in the links below.,06.shtml

Key quote :

"The report, then, is a political fig leaf with a few hard figures to back it up. It is not so much, therefore, what it says that is important, but how it is used in the coming months. In particular, a very interesting question will be how it melds in with the 30 year rail strategy report due out in the summer next year."

Here is a link to another new Christian Wolmar article.,06.shtml

Also , Douglas Alexander expands on his views on road pricing , and the role of the bus , in the link below.

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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