|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Current service remains inappropriate - 8026/13003
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Monday, 6th July 2009
A reminder of just HOW inappropriate our current service is ... I was writing to someone about my travels in the last seven days:
"My last six journeys in and out of Melksham were by road - two by bus to 'connect' with a train, two by bus all the way, and two by car because public transport was UTTERLY impractical for the journey!"
Although the forum here has been quiet for a month, that's not to say that everything has been quiet. There are a lot of general topics (and quite a bit that references the TransWilts) on "The Coffee Shop" at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop ... and there have been meetings, and are meetings to come, behind the scenes.
You'll have noticed that I quoted the word 'connect' when talking about my recent journet to Melksham by train and bus. The train from London is scheduled into Chippenham and 20:45 .. the bus leaves at 20:44. So I (and my fellow passengers) had to arrive on the previous train and hang around at a buffet-closed Chippenham station. The bus arrived (from Chippenham BUS station) completely empty, and a handful of us got on ... just one passenger got off prior to Melksham.
If the bus had properly connected (i.e. 10 minutes) and was shown on station departure boards:
a) I would have been home 20 minutes earlier
b) There would be a lot more passengers, meaning it needed less subsidy!
If there had been a connecting train ...
a) I would hev been home about 40 minutes earlier
b) Passenger count would have been much higher. I am not going to speculate on pricing effect - not done my sums
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
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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