|Out with the old users, in with the new
There was disappointment when the current train to Swindon moved some 20 minutes earlier from Melksham, as it now gets into Swindon inconveniently early for many people. So it's unfortunate to say the least that it's going to be earlier again from December.
The return service at 17:35 was plenty late enough for most users - any who continue to use the train will have more than another half hour to wait (until 18:12) from December, and it will make for a very long day.
Being selfish, the new times proposed, with the 09:12 arrival and 17:02 departures withdrawn, completely mash our business use of the trains. We have regularly collected hundreds of long distance travellers from the 09:12, or dropped them off for the 17:02, each year since 2001 but in the future other arrangements will be needed. I would anticipate many more people using their cars - we've been proud of "40% by public transport" but can't continue with that if there IS no long distance public transport.
Where the new timings may gain is in long-distance outbound commuting. It does look like Melksham could be a London commuter town in the future, with two morning departures at 06:46 and 07:37 getting into London at 09:29 and 09:15, returning from London at 17:00 and 17:33 with Melksham arrivals at 18:38 and 19:28. Perhaps the current market (users) are being cleared out in favour of this more lucrative traffic - after all, the operator IS looking to make a profit and a return to London on the only trains that will be available in the future will bring in over a hundred pound per round trip.
Written 2006-02-15 05:42:30
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