|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Passenger survey? - 1732/4475
Written by Ruthg on Saturday, 24th March 2007
At the West Wilts meeting on Tuesday it was interesting to hear FGW say, that they had no idea what train you would catch just because you bought a ticket from one place to another. By this argument that would theoretically mean that anyone (apart from Melksham passengers) travelling from Westbury to Swindon and back, could do so without having to use the Transwilts train by going via Bath Spa, therefore meaning, that theoretically only a handful of people would need to use the trains travelling through Melksham, giving FGW a perfect excuse not to improve the service.
Now we know that's not the case and I'm quite sure FGW do too, but is it time to prove it to them by carrying out a passenger survey e.g. name-origin-traintime- destination-comments? This may have been done already, but is it worth trying again to prove a point?
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4478
Written by Trowres on Saturday, 24th March 2007
The ticket information gives (at best) the date of travel. A computer program called ORCATS, developed in the days of British Rail, estimates the number of passengers who would choose each possible route between two points. These days, it also estimates the number of passengers carried by each operator's trains where there service is provided by more than one operator (e.g between Bristol and Exeter).
A survey of passengers on the Westbury-Swindon route was done in February 2006 for Wiltshire CC.
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4481
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 25th March 2007
[quote author=Ruthg link=topic=1732.msg4475#msg4475 date=1174723979]
At the West Wilts meeting on Tuesday it was interesting to hear FGW say, that they had no idea what train you would catch just because you bought a ticket from one place to another.[/quote]
They were - err - stretching the truth there, I think.
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4485
Written by tramway on Sunday, 25th March 2007
One of the best surveys on the whole of the old Wessex network was conducted some time ago and which fed into the report published by the old Rail Passenger Committee, and entitled The Mainline They Shouldn't Ignore dated April 2004. This is cited in numerous publications if put into Google although I'm having trouble locating a web site currently hosting a copy.
It is mentioned in a DfT White paper here
Obviously they chose to totally ignore the reports recommendations which and I quote says
para 10.11 We suggest that the current irregular and infrequent service via Melksham to Swindon should become a regular, clock face shuttle.......for which a single class 153 would be suitable.
The report is also mentioned by the Southwest Regional Assembly in 2005.
So if anyone want's to quote athoritive recommendations (over 4000 passengers between Nov and Dec 2003)then I would suggest copies be obtained. I have one hard copy version and I think a pdf one somewhere.
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4499
Written by Lee on Monday, 26th March 2007
[quote author=tramway link=topic=1732.msg4485#msg4485 date=1174827955]One of the best surveys on the whole of the old Wessex network was conducted some time ago and which fed into the report published by the old Rail Passenger Committee, and entitled The Mainline They Shouldn't Ignore dated April 2004. This is cited in numerous publications if put into Google although I'm having trouble locating a web site currently hosting a copy.
It is mentioned in a DfT White paper here
Obviously they chose to totally ignore the reports recommendations[/quote]
So did Jacobs. See Pages 153 & 154 of the link below.
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4506
Written by tramway on Monday, 26th March 2007
Many thanks for the link, without having an immediate opportunity to look in detail at the timetable recommendations in the report, do you know how far the DfT kept with the results to inform SLC1.
I'm guessing here at the moment in that it was probably very close, and having little public or regional consultation until the last minute did anyone realise that the DfT probably got what they asked for from Jacobs, a regional railway on the cheap.
Re: Passenger survey? - 1732/4519
Written by Lee on Monday, 26th March 2007
It certainly bore a striking resemblance to the contents of the original SRA Consultation document which , with a few revisions , formed the basis of the original Greater Western Franchise SLC2 (links below.)
The above link formed part of a package of documents released as a result of Save The Train efforts (see link below.)
Documents also obtained by Save The Train revealed how the SRA / DfT sought to minimise consultation and made clear that (as assumed by Jacobs) the main aim was to reduce costs (link below.)
The Jacobs reports undoubtably also had a bearing on the Great Western Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy (link below.)
The DfT and FGW would argue that many "positive changes" have been made since then. However , as the link below shows , it isnt as simple as that.
Other points to note :
1) FGW stand to lose 58 vehicles up to January 2008. How can this be done without cutting services? The only December 2007 "improvements" flagged up at the recent WWDC meeting were "more even spacing of Bristol - Westbury services" & "HST stops in the peak at Keynsham and Oldfield Park."
2) The Network Rail Business Plan 2006 assumes that the FGW timetable will be implemented AS ORIGINALLY SET DOWN. The links below are , according to very reliable sources , an accurate portrayal of their mindset.
[quote author=Lee link=topic=577.msg1739#msg1739 date=1161877109]Jacobs recommended for progression or further work , closure or "parliamentary service" options for the following stations :
Islip , Bicester Town , Tackley , Heyford , Kings Sutton , Combe , Finstock , Ascott-Under-Wychwood , Shipton , Shalford , Chilworth , Gomshall , Dorking West , Betchworth , Dilton Marsh , Dean , Dunbridge , Sea Mills , Shirehampton , Avonmouth , St Andrews Road , Severn Beach , Newton St Cyres , Yeoford , Copplestone , Morchard Road , Lapford , Kings Nympton , Portsmouth Arms , Umberleigh , Chapelton , Luxulyan , Bugle , Roche , St Columb Road , Quintrell Downs , Coombe , St Keyne , Causeland and Sandplace.[/quote]
From December 2007 :
Dilton Marsh - loss of 10 services per day.
Dean & Dunbridge - loss of 5 - 7 services per day.
Melksham - no change?
The DfT and , to a certain extent FGW and others , can do something about this. I would dearly love them to prove my "closure by stealth" analysis wrong.
I urge them to do so.
link to index of articles
Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.
Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.
The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.
We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.
-- Graham Ellis, (webmaster), February 2021
Letter to DfT
Save the train
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