|Friday meeting - invite and details
THIS Friday evening - 12th May - 18:30 at Melksham Town Hall.
Andrew Griffiths, who's the newly appointed General Manager
(Central) for First Great Western will be addressing talking
to the Melksham Rail Development Group, and taking questions.
All welcome, but best let me know if you'll be coming so that
I can advise the MRDG secretary of rough numbers. (No need to
email me apologies if you can't make it)
Andrew is one of four General Managers and looks after all the
services in our area, but on Friday he'll be particularly
addressing matters of interest to us here in Melksham - i.e.
the Swindon to Southampton service. As well as the reduction
of services that I would still like to see reversed, he'll be
answering points I have raised about connections, better timing
of remaining services, the possible extension of the 234 bus
to Chippenham Station and why that seems to have been aborted,
and on fares which for anyone wanting to do a day trip to
London will double when the offpeak train at 09:12 is withdrawn.
Andrew has to leave us just after 19:30, and the meeting will
continue with the MRDG AGM. Again, all welcome. And no doubt
discussions will range wider as regards and further possible
follow ups and activities.
You might like to know that Michael Ancram our MP, and also
the MPs for Swindon, Chippenham, Trowbridge and Westbury all
spoke in a debate in Parliament on 25th April that concerned
the Great Western Franchinse. All four of the MPs for the
line specifically mentioned the Swindon to Westbury Service
and Melksham, and objected to the planned service reduction.
Regrettably, Derek Twigg answering for the goverment simply
ignored the questions on this service and only addressed other
I attended a national meeting at Swindon last Saturday, and
met and listed to an address by the customer relations director
of First. Much of the talk was a fairly standard presentation
some intersting points did come up. One was that three issues
in the franchise remain unresolved - two are out of our area
(Ivybridge and early morning trains to Gatwick), but the third
relates to the strengthing of Cardiff to Portsmouth trains which
she thought will be achieved by "moving stock around within First".
Good - and perhaps they can find the stock to serve Melksham off
this (but not excellent as Melksham is NOT a subject she mentioned
as still being open).
Realistically, it still seems very much more likely than not that
Melksham will loose most of its trains in December, and I question
the viability of the few that remain - one of the two remaining
weekday trains in each direction will run at a time which seems
more suited to the operational convenience of the company running
the service than to their customer's need, and the draft weekend
service is peculiar and inappropriate to put it mildy. Your
continued support WOULD be much appreciated - each letter written,
each meeting attended and point made pushes the pendulum very
slightly and, who knows, we might just be able to push it far
enough to make a difference.
Written 2006-05-11 06:46:37
Available entries ...
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