|20% service cut = 40% traffic cut?
Here's a picture that I took on the lunchtime train from Melksham one day last week - 13:35 from Melksham to Chippenham. It's probably the quietest train of the day (the 07:45 is generally accepted to be the busiest, the 17:02 typically has about 25 people on it these days, and I was amazed at the 42 on the 05:52 at the start of this month.
Not exactly full, not exactly empty. But consider this. Each person travelling up from or via Melksham has to make their way back at sometime, and that's NOT going to be on the same train when it turn around at Swindon, is it? So that's around a dozen people who, if and when this train ceases, will shift away from their rail trip in BOTH directions. Add to that the dozen or so who are on the return trip (that's at Melksham at about 14:50), and further the people who use the train South from Melksham and you've got, at a conservative esimate, some 30 journeys lost on the lunchtime train and 30 journeys lost on other trains too.
Take out the lunctime service and you're sucking lifeblood from the other trains too. And the twits (sorry, I'm getting frustrated) are taking out the 09:12 and 17:02 as well - twice as busy as the lunchtime train, and another 120 journeys lost.
Then you take out the 42 on the morning service and THEIR returns .... and there's an evening train with a dozen or so that's going and THEY won't be coming back even if their return train survives.
Doing the maths, I think that's around85% of weekday passengers lost by cutting the 60% least busy of the weekday trains. On a service that was twice an hour, cutting it to once an hour MIGHT not loose too much as people would wait around. But if I can't catch the 08:47 from Swindon, I'm NOT going to opt to wait for the 18:43, now am I?
The cuts still don't make any sense, and the resulting service has gone from draft to daft.
Written 2006-09-17 19:08:26
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