Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
BBC - "Labour wants to force rail firms to offer cheapest fare" (10/04/2010) - 8116/13151
Written by Lee on Saturday, 10th April 2010

Labour is going to include in its manifesto a commitment to force rail companies to offer passengers the cheapest fare, the BBC has learnt -

Re: BBC - "Labour wants to force rail firms to offer cheapest fare" (10/04/2010) - 8116/13153
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 11th April 2010

That's much more complicated than it sounds .... the whole of the fares system is full of anacronisms and special deals in dusty corners, with some outrageously high fares and others which are real bargains. 

If you want to go to the London Eye for the day on Saturday starting from Trowbridge, but return in the evening to Keynsham, then you'll want a Shirehampton to Waterloo via Salisbury ticket at 27.10 (I think - can anyone see cheaper?)

Splitting tickets is often a good way or reducting costs - if you're travelling to the Midlands, look at the price of a ticket to Cheltenham and the Cheltenham to (whereever) and if you'r going into Paddington, look at a Didcot split - perfectly allowed if the train calls there.  But the software to do it would be nasty to write, and I can't help feeling that people being sold split tickets might not understand the "must stop at ..." rule.  Visitors from overseas would feel that there was something wrong and might think they were being cheated (I know this - I have had to justify splitting suggestions).

I know that the Association of Train Operating Companies has - past tense - moved to shut down web sites offering automated systems to help people find the truely cheapest way (not ATOCs finest hour IMHO!) but really it's the whole fare system that needs properly sorting out.  Of course, none of the political parties will do or promise that as there would be significant winners and loosers, and the loosers would switch their votes away from the party putting in the proposal if they feared a significant rise in commuting costs.

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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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