|Encouraging traffic not just warm words
Last night, I had perhaps the most thought-provoking discussion so far ... the question of how to encourage people to USE the service that everyone says that they want. Perhaps this is the $64000 question; some ideas formulated ;-) ....
There's no doubt in my mind that potential customers are driven away by a service that's unreliable, or perceived to be unreliable, and by a service that's infrequent, or is perceived to be infrequent. Would running a local Swindon to Westbury service which wasn't going to be effected by emergency engineering in Salisbury give us better reliability? Would a train every 2 hours rather than sporadically at present increase the traffic to the extent that there would be more people on more trains, or would it just spead out the current numbers, said to be thin?
It would require guts and a willingness to take a chance to up the service to - say - once an hour. But do so and, perhaps, the train will start taking that load off the roads; people WOULD use the train to shop in Chippenham or Swindon, to commute to work for non-core hours, to visit friends and contacts. If you've travelled to London from Melksham and you've drive to Chippenham to start your journey, perhaps you would go from Melksham instead.
Written 2005-09-13 08:16:47
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