|Government pressure to shut up. But let us look forward.
Well ... the Government's response to my petition for an appropriate train service made the front page of the Western Daily Press yesterday (article) under the headline "Blair Snubs Rail Misery". And we also got coverage in the Bath Chronicle, the Wiltshire Times and the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. The Spar shop / garage next door started giving me very funny looks as I kep coming in for more newspapers!
The response to the petition was disappointing - very disappointing. After all the hard word work, five year old figures and demonstrably wrong, pessimistic, forecats are regurgitated. The Civil servants know they're incorrect, damn it - and they know that the current service schedules are not appropriate. I can tell you this because I have spent a long time, on the phone in person, to 'Whitehall'. And to compound the disappointment, some "bright spark" has read the request for an appropriate service to mean a return to the old pre-December situation. No - I'm no Luddite and the petition was no request to step back in time - quite the reverse; it was a request to look forward. I agree with the Government response that the service should not revert to what it was - it should develop forward to meet the need. You'll note:
* Compound growth between 8% and 35% per annum over 5 years
* West Wilts towns to grow by 50% over the next 30 years
* Increasing road conjestion making the car commute less practical
* Cheaper trains perhaps for hire (to reduce cost)
* Envioronmental issues ...
But the $64,000 question is how we take this dreadful response from the Prime Minister's office and, never the less, work forward with the other forces that we know are there to a positive conclusion. And how we tie that in with support from the local transport authority (Wilsthire CC) and others around such as Somerset and Swindon to everyone's benefit.
So yesterday evening concluded with a most interesting call from a supporter / insider with a political "nose", warning me off criticising the Goverment too hard on their response. "He's trying to shut you up as the Government don't like this publicity" suggest Lisa and, yes, that's a big part of it. But at the same time, we DO have to work with these people - Glaswegian Ministers who don't even look after trains in Scotland - until the next general election in perhaps 2009 or 2010. My purpose is not to score political points with a political football of the railway service. It's to have provided an appropriate service. So, in spite of the idiosyncracies of the system and the distortions it brings, I'll work on with Tom Harris (DfT) , Alison Forster (FGW), Fleur de Rhe_Philipe (Wiltshire) for the joint aims. They can ALL come out as winners, and the travelling public can come out as winners too!
Written 2007-04-05 08:29:16
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Welcome to News and Views
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Don't let this become history!
Meeting, 20th September - getting nervous
Encouraging traffic not just warm words
Official (Government) view ... and I agree
Don't believe everything you hear
Old pictures. Not to be repeated event
Great meeting but just a start.
35% Growth in one year - Melksham ticket statistics
Swindon to Trowbridge
Regularity, Reliability, Realistic connections
Didn't you read page 52 of web document?
An easy timetable - Melksham to Chippenham and Swindon
Would this government close a station completely?
Quotes from Government
Tuesday, 18th October - Kiss and Ride day
Six NEW factors why the TransWilts train that serves Melksham should be enhanced and not cut
And more train users ...
Try the train on 18th October
Tracking codes for TransWilts stations
New stats prove it - the service IS used
Bump from Glasgow
Ready for Tuesday
Kiss and Ride report
A case of the tail wagging the dog??
The system is overcomplex - no wonder some odd things happen
Warminster Bus Running Day, 2005
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A disappointing letter
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Monday morning, Melksham Station
Busy train at Melksham
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A THOUSAND visitors
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Timetable - Melksham to Reading and London
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STILL worth writing. To MP, To Dft, to bidders.
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Don't drink and drive - drink and train.
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At Temple Meads today
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From the rumour mill
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New fares from 2nd January 2006
No final decision yet
Even new stations don't always survive
A comparison across the world
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New year, 2006
Bustitution - buses for trains on Saturdays and Sundays
The Meeting Season
Reply from MD of First Great Western
Wilts County Council could save the Melksham / Transwilts train
What does First pay the government for Greater Western?
Railway statistics and Melksham comparisons - how do we stand?
Winners and losers in the Devizes constituency
First want to hear your aspirations
Repeat - PLEASE write in with your aspirations
Were they purchasing votes?
Current status ...
Keep watching - coming to the boil!
From my postbag ...
Timetable consultation coming up
Waiting, with baited breath
Meeting with a local MP
Today or tomorrow
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Out with the old users, in with the new
On the 05:52 this morning
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Draft timetables (continued)
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A week is a long time
Roger Jones answers 5 months later!
Safer current trains - the 06:56, 07:45 and 18:09
INPUTS NEEDED by 8th March
Meetings and Consultation Responses
A whole pile of responses
Ploughing back OUR money, not theirs.
New pages and information
On supporting other campaigns ...
Not just the TransWilts and Melksham ...
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The Waiting Game
Real time train monitoring
Someone can't wait!
UPDATE - new timetables
An update - BAD, BAD news for Melksham ...
First - transforming travel
Southampton to Westbury RESTORED
Friday, 21st, Trowbridge
Meeting, Friday 21st
Celebrating a closure
What SWPTUF says
Meeting, 21st - notes
Parliamentary Debate, 25th April
First back down or buses too.
Diary Date - 12th May
RailFuture meeting today
RailFuture meeting - some gems
First way to get rid of customers?
Friday meeting - invite and details
It gets worse
Every so often, stop and look
Bus service costs 25 pounds per passenger to run?
Carrying fresh air around?
Put yourself in their shoes
Lies, damned lies and statistics
Our battle ....
... is part of a planned war
Political pressure - press release
How to catch the 18:48 from Chippenham - the DfT suggests
Internet connection issues
Selling off any possibility of improvement
Letter from Derek Twigg
Important but not refreshing meeting
Welcome for Michael Ancram and Chris Grayling
Visit by Chris Grayling and Michael Ancram
Friday, 7th July - Melksham
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Bad news coming?
In praise of estate agents
Press Release - Open Access operator negotiations
Open Access case strengthened
A desire for honesty
Flowers for Melksham. Flowers at Melksham.
Has our publicity reached the right people?
One year on
A year on - an empty bank holiday
Bus connections to Melksham from Chippenham
Is this train used?
If its working well, change it so it doesnt.
20% service cut = 40% traffic cut?
A difficult choice for voters
Consultant's reports recommended a modest INCREASE
From Ystrad Mynach
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Behind the new timetable
Is this fare?
Returning from their UK course
End of term - don't care
Current and future summary
2 weeks to go
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They're gone ... but ...
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"Told you so"
Welcome to 2007
PLEASE LOBBY - First, Dft, County Council, your MP
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Invite letter - 5th March 2007 meeting
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A fast-moving story?
The traveller, not the train!
Report - Monday night's meeting - press brief
What is happening?
Reply to Petition
Petition Response - detail, opinion, context
Asking for the political and part views
Helsinki and Heathrow to Melksham - Saturday
Gordon Dodge, Rest in Peace
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A roundup from a MELKSHAM perspective
Update being updated!
News Roundup - a LOT is happening
New faces - mayors and chairs.
We have another hill to climb
Radio - tomorrow morning?
Weymouth, Poor Provisional, and Sunday
A Comparison - travel in the USA by train
The Ghost Train, Purton
How to fill platforms, and railway company coffers too!
FSB - North and West Wilts Commitee - Federation of Small Businesses
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Front page update
Comment on December timetables
A First to Stagecoach comparison
Does the new man want to play hard?
And the week ends with two more cancellations!
Comparing a Wiltshire town with a Norfolk one
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A pile of 160 train tickets for tomorrow
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Happy Christmas everyone!
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On truthfully advertising the case
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Want to comment? You're welcome on the forum
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Population growth, but congested roads
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One long journey ends and another begins
Campaign update - news for December 08 / 09 / 10 / 11 ...
Preserved Railways - a look forward
Spring 2009 Campaign update
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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