Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Comment on standard letter going out from the DfT - 7992/12938
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Friday, 3rd April 2009

Ms Judith Shepherd of the DfT is sending out a standard letter to everyone who writes to them about the TransWilts service at present, and I have been asked by several people to comment.

Here is a sample of what I have written:

It's disappointing that the content is very much out of date - using the present tense to refer to services that they withdrew 27 months ago, and inaccurate - telling you that the service specificication (SLC) is better than it ever was, and not telling you that they have changed it (and for the worse) since it was written. It also ignores more recent statistics / data / work that show a very different picture indeed, the "if we had known then what we know now, the service level should be be much higher" position which is now almost universally shared, with the remaining question being "how can we get there?"

I'll be writing a full update / comment on Ms Shepherd's letter over the weekend.  I hate having to fault find but some of the things written look like they could have been designed to mis-inform!


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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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