|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Response To Consultation on the Station Champions' report 'Better Rail Stations' - 8070/13073
Written by Lee on Friday, 29th January 2010
Here is our response to the Consultation on the Station Champions' report 'Better Rail Stations.' If you want to read the report, it can be found at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/passenger/stations/betterrailstations/
Dear Mr Biskup,
I am writing to respond to the Consultation on the Station Champions' report 'Better Rail Stations', on behalf of the TransWilts Save The Train Campaign. We represent passengers on the Salisbury-Westbury-Chippenham-Swindon route, and campaign for better rail services.
Whilst many of the conclusions/recommendations of the report are welcome, we are concerned that the classification of Melksham station as F2 could impact on the prospects for implementing our proposals for improvements. These are based on a proposed increase in rail services (currently being negotiated between First Great Western and Wiltshire Council) translating into a significant increase in passenger usage and are detailed below:
As you may be aware, Wiltshire Council have recently bought land adjacent to Melksham station from BRB (Residuary) , in order to safeguard it for future public transport use. In a recent meeting with DfT, FGW and Wiltshire Council representatives, we put forward our proposals for how this land could be utilised (links to artists impressions are also given):
MELKSHAM STATION IMPROVEMENTS PHASE ONE :
There now follows an overview of the facilities that will be available, once construction of Phase One is completed:
Approaching Melksham station by road:
Having reached the station approach with relative ease due to the excellent signage on major roads in the Melksham area, the entrance clearly shows where to turn in order to reach Melksham station:
Approaching Melksham station by bicycle/foot from the town centre direction:
Safe route from Melksham town centre to the station ends at a new bicycle shelter, along with new signage indicating the way to the station:
The idea is that cyclists approaching from this direction will park their bikes at the shelter, and then walk down to the station using the pavement. This avoids them having to share the approach road with car traffic.
A deal would be reached with Moorlands Holiday Homes for their CCTV cameras to cover the bicycle shelter, a similar concept to the way Rolls Royce factory cameras cover Patchway station. This would also give Moorlands Holiday Homes an early sense of partnership in a scheme which, when fully complete, would radically alter the landscape in which their business operates:
Station approach road: A new "Welcome To Melksham Station" information board reinforces the feeling of "arrival", along with the retention of the existing information board on the other side of the road:
Approaching Melksham station by bicycle/foot from the Spencers Gate end: Footpath/cyclepath opened up from Spencers Gate to station:
With a bicycle shelter having been provided for cyclists approaching from the town centre direction, it is intended that new cycle parking facilities on the platform would mainly be used by cyclists approaching from the Spencers Gate end:
Facilities at the station itself:
- Existing information board retained:
Behind this, the existing bicycle shelter on the platform would be altered. The bicycle hoops would be removed, and a ticket machine placed in the left hand alcove, with a public telephone placed in the right hand alcove:
The photo below shows how the station would look as passengers approach it:
From right to left:
- Verge beyond the barred gate running alongside road that leads to Spencers Gate converted into car parking spaces, with space provided on the inside for the footpath/cyclepath that runs to this point from Spencers Gate. A BR-style station sign is also erected in this area.
- Barred gate opened up as second station entrance, beside which a new ticket machine would be sited.
- Existing station lighting retained.
- Existing car parking converted into bus stop, to be served by terminating Melksham Town Service buses.
- Bicycle lockers and existing blue waiting shelter removed to make way for extended vandal-proof replacement waiting shelter. This would have an opening on both sides, thus allowing it to be used both as a platform waiting shelter and as a bus shelter, maximising space. A further photo showing how this would look on the platform side can be found below:
The above view also shows the floral display, which would be retained as a tribute to Gordon Dodge (link below.)
- Extra bin provided.
- Information screen/automatic announcements installed.
- Existing bin retained.
- Outdoor seating removed, replaced by new cycle parking facilities.
- New information board installed, alongside existing directional signage.
- Help point retained.
- Existing station entrance retained. A deal would be reached with Melksham Tyre Supplies/MCC for their CCTV cameras to cover the station area, similar to the deal reached with Moorlands Holiday Homes:
PHASE TWO :
There now follows an overview of the facilities that will be available, once construction of Phase Two is completed:
- Modular station building (including ticket office & toilets) at Spencers Gate end, with adjacent gate for when ticket office closed.
In the foreground you have the station building, Spencers Gate entrance, platform canopy which ends with a new information screen, with an improved help point in the background, and a further information screen. This leads round to the beginning of the area covered by Phase One.
- Platform extended to 4-coach length.
- Platform canopy, with inbuilt lighting, CCTV and seating.
- Tactile platform edge for the blind.
- Full wheelchair accessibility.
Melksham station entrance from the road turning:
- Roadside electronic sign saying how long to next train.
- Park+Ride signage.
Novacast & VW Audi :
- Novacast and VW Audi move out of station area.
- Former Longreen shed & Spillers Flour Warehouse dismantled and re-erected at an appropriate heritage facility. Former AL King building demolished. Land converted into large station car park, covered by new CCTV system for the entire station area.
Access/road from Spencers Gate:
- developed as stated in the link below, with extension of Spencers Gate housing levering in developer contributions.
Through bus services can now more easily call at the station.
The proposals above would include the relocation of any businesses affected, to premises fully suitable to their needs.
However, F2 classification as defined by the report means the following:
- No requirement for Cycle Parking.
- No requirement for Car Parking.
- No requirement for a Ticket machine.
- No minimum seating requirement, with inadequate perches permissible.
We would like assurances that adopting the conclusions/recommendations of the report will not adversely affect future plans for Melksham station improvements.
However we would like to particularly Welcome the following recommendations:
- Category F stations should have a small WebCIS real-time indicator. We are currently negotiating for the installation of such an indicator at Melksham station.
- Category F stations should have an electronic Help Point provided with Emergency button to a railway Control, and Information button to National Rail Enquiries. We are currently negotiating for the installation of such a help point at Melksham station.
- The medium and small stations should evolve into community hubs, providing local services such as small supermarkets, collection points for undelivered mail, sub post-offices and community services. We are in the process of forming a Community Rail Partnership for our route, stations and services, and will aim to take concrete steps towards the aims of the report's long-term vision in this respect. See http://www.transwilts.org.uk/crp.html
TransWilts Save The Train Campaign
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
About this site