|What is happening?
It's nearly two weeks now since we hosted the "Save the Train" meeting here in Melksham. And, alas, for much of the time since then I've been layed low - working with halved energy - with a bout of the flu from which I'm only just recoverimg. With training courses to give and a business to run, that's taken up the energy I have and I've been having late starts (for me) and even earlier evenings than is my norm. Here I am at 4 p.m. on Sunday feeling like I could just curl up and go to sleep ....
But ... we DID move forward at the meeting. Formed an action group that involves some more bodies, and since then we've got a press release out somewhat wider than I could have reached alone. And we should have a high proportion of that core group at least at the District Council's emergency meeting on Tuesday next.
An experts / officers group is also to be set up. That's to allow the rail industry, national and local government experts, perhaps with representatives of other groups, to come together. A prospecive chairman / organiser has been approached and, with my impatient nature, I'm disappointed to have not yet heard back / heard what's happening on this. Of course, I should not be surprised as, really, there's no reason that I should be involved in this group and it can probably do its best by flying a whole range of kites between its members rather than asking for public consultation type inputs at each stage.
More evidence / information keeps building up concerning the need to improve public transport in the corridor, to improve the pubclicity and information about that public transport so that people who need it can find it, and about the unsuitability of the current service. Even with just 2 trains a day, and even with the current SLC limits unaltered, I recon they could do a ruddy site better. I conjecture that around 93% of the buisness has been lost ... yet with a compliant service arriving in Swindon at 08:30 and leaving at 08:45, and another arriving in Swindon at 17:30 and leaving at 17:45, that loss could have been limited to around 45%.
The DfT tell me that the service isn't working as they had intended. Travellers on the train tell me that surveys are being done because the service is "under review". We need to shout more than ever before to ensure that reviewers look at the complete picture and come up with a positive solution rather than just looking at current train usage and suggesting that (say) only the Sunday trains remain ...
Written 2007-03-18 15:30:45
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