Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
In Town , Without My Car! - 271/724
Written by Lee on Thursday, 29th June 2006

This is an interesting article.,06.shtml

Re: In Town , Without My Car! - 271/8820
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 27th November 2007

Here we go again (link below.)

Re: In Town , Without My Car! - 271/8831
Written by courgettelawn on Tuesday, 27th November 2007

We've coped perfectly well without a car for the last seven years.  We have not been limited in places we have visited from ultra rural to big cities abroad and at home.  It's all to do with knowledge and mindsets.  Many car-dependents simply don't think a journey is possible without a car, or thinks it just too far beyond the pail to use public transport (and their legs) if it involves more than a simple direct journey.  Buses are smelly and for the pre-driving age youff or elderly.  Trains more or less the same.  Bicycles for those that cannot afford a car.  And who wants to walk?  Dangerous out there.

I often think our friends think we're either being stubborn, backward, stupid or all three for refusing to buy, maintain and drive a car.  It's not that we never had one nor that we cannot drive.  We just chose not to now and it's the best decision we've made concerning our quality of life.  Admittedly over the last seven years we have always lived in a city with decent transport links.  This of course helps but our life choices have also revolved around our wish to remain car-free for as long as practicable.  We have not applied for jobs which have no transport links.  I have chosen to try working freelance so I can work more from home or anywhere with a decent internet connection. I no longer wish to start my day on the motorway (a soul-destroying thing I've done once, never again).  When we eventually move somewhere more rural we will try and maintain our car-free status.

Being without a car in fact brings us freedom that autophiles cannot imagine.  I'd rather endure a delay on a train or waiting for a train with my iPod on and a good book, than stuck for hours in a metal box, wasting petrol, crawling forward on a bleak road.  I don't want to have my nerves frayed by inconsiderate drivers in inconsiderately designed cars.  How barbaric.  A slow bus journey can take you through the most beautiful countryside and scenery and you can spend all your attention taking it in rather than keeping your eye on the road.  Let someone else take the strain.  Similarly on the trains.  If only more of our little branch lines could be re-opened.  We never have to think of finding somewhere to park, to top up the meter, wonder if we'll get a ticket or clamped.  We don't have to watch our speed, we can enjoy a drink or two without a thought. 

Being car-free only requires a bit of forethought and planning.  Nothing as strenuous as remembering to pay your road tax or insurance or awaiting the bill at MOT time.

We don't have a perfect public transport system in this country but the more people who use it, the better it will get.

Re: In Town , Without My Car! - 271/8838
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 28th November 2007

I sometimes wonder whether the DfT pays any more than lip service to this concept....

Re: In Town , Without My Car! - 271/8840
Written by Nick Field on Wednesday, 28th November 2007

[quote author=Lee link=topic=271.msg8838#msg8838 date=1196242913]
I sometimes wonder whether the DfT pays any more than lip service to this concept....

Your probably right.

Re: In Town , Without My Car! - 271/8864
Written by courgettelawn on Friday, 30th November 2007

The same goes for the reluctance to force property developers to submit plans that take into account sustainability in their buildings.  They should and do not.  All new buildings and complexes ought to have the capacity to produce some of their own energy, deal with some of their own waste and use sustainably sourced materials.  It would not be hard to have this as part of the planning process and may even make building on some of the greenbelt more palatable. 

There is absolutely no real desire from local or national government to make real changes to transport and housing policy and that's partly because they only reflect what 'society wants'.  When we, en masse, say we want differently, they will change.  We need to get more people on board and keep up the pressure.  It will, one day, work just as it has with seat-belts, drink-driving, smoking ban, etc.  To be honest I'd rather have pedestrianised town centres than smokeless pubs!

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

This site is hosted by Well House Consultants Ltd. (
Contact Information

Further Information:
 Current Summary
 Daily update
 User forum
 Service now
 Service future
 Future Analysis
 Recent Statistics
 Recent letters
 Letter to DfT
 Save the train
 Support us
 Other Maps
 Station facilities
 Station approach
 Trains diverted
 About Melksham
 Site Map
 About this site