Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Fraternal greetings from Saltash - 262/693
Written by rogerco on Tuesday, 20th June 2006

As chair of the Saltash RUG (that's the first station in Cornwall for those who don't know, just after you cross the Royal Albert Brunel bridge) I would like you to know that we support you in your struggle.

For us the initial shock of a proposed 50% slashing of service has been replaced by 'only' a 25% cut. We must not loose sight of the fact that it is still a severe cut which will have an impact on our town.

You are clearly still facing a much more severe threat which must be strenuously resisted. If we can hang in there and keep Melksham open then I believe in the medium term we will see a resurgence in the railway as other factors hit the viability of private road transport.

I also feel that First Great Western are not the villans of this affair - they clearly want to run a good train service - from working with them on the consultation I suspect that their hand is being forced by DfT and Government.

Anyway, greeting from Saltash, and best of luck with the campaign. Keep up the good work.

Roger Creagh-Osborne
Chair Saltash Rail Users Group

Re: Fraternal greetings from Saltash - 262/696
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 22nd June 2006

Roger, happy to see that your cuts have been scaled back .... and many thanks for your support.

We're still facing NOT TRAINS AT ALL between an 07:19 departure to Swidon and an 18:57 arrival back ... and that's supposed to be a commuter service.

Peopls travelling from Frome, Westbury, Trowbridge and Melksham to work in Swindon don't work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. these days (the 'Victorian' hours are gone even in Wiltshire), and will probably take to their cars - there ARE NO other trains along the line / expresses that coul dbe stopped, so the topic's much more that Melksham where ticket sales have grown 7 fold in 5 years - it'a also about the 109,000 journeys per annum made along the line.

Commuters in to Melksham / Trowbridge from Swindon / Chippenham end up with no service at all - around 40% of my business customers arrive at 09:12 from London and leave at 17:02 at present.

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

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