Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Campaign for Better Transport "Rail Reopenings Must Be Top Of Funding Wish-List" - 7876/12693
Written by Lee on Thursday, 14th August 2008

Cat Hobbs argues that there's never been a better time for local campaigners to fight for new railway lines (link below) :

[quote="Cat Hobbs"]A railway line that recently reopened in Wales has seen twice as many passengers using the trains as predicted. At the same time, a competition for Government funding has started in every region of England between damaging road schemes and public transport alternatives. There's never been a better time for local campaigners to fight for new railway lines.

The Cardiff-Ebbw Valley railway line already has more passengers than the target agreed for 2012. This is just one example of a line which shows that demand for rail is often hugely underestimated.

Meanwhile, the Government has just put out guidance about the pot of money it provides for regional transport projects - and regional decision makers are being allowed to ask for funding for rail schemes.

But the people making these decisions often want money to be spent on roads rather than new railway lines. Local campaigners will need to make the case for the lines that should be reopened. The success of the Ebbw Valley line should help them do that.

We'll also be helping local campaigners to make sure the best public transport schemes go ahead, instead of the worst road schemes.[/quote]

Re: Campaign for Better Transport "Rail Reopenings Must Be Top Of Funding Wish-List" - 7876/12707
Written by Lee on Friday, 15th August 2008

Cat Hobbs CANBER article link, particularly focusing on the Regional Funding Allocation process.

South West Regional Assembly related link.

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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