Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/835
Written by drew22299 on Tuesday, 11th July 2006

Investing in road and bus services won't really fix anything. People will always prefer to use cars etc. If the railway network and infrastructure was as it was before Dr Beeching we would not be suffering as much with traffic congestion.

Even with small stations like Melksham and other various Halts which used to exist it would all contribute to reducing traffic, if the railway was more comprehensive i.e, you get almost anywhere and quickly more people would use the trains instead of cars, and the most important thing of all is that ticket prices would be cheaper.

For example, take Bristol and its suburban railway, it used to have a busy network and still has the potential for it to be again. Bristol has a problem with traffic, and cycle paths and buses are not the answer. They reduce traffic slightly but what the who country needs in general is a better infrastructure, the rail network is a joke. Privitisation is one reason for this and the fact that a railway company can only have a franchise for a few years. Its all about money, and thats why things will get worse before they get better.


Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/842
Written by Nick Field on Tuesday, 11th July 2006


I have always agreed that a decent rail service is far more effective in tempting people out of there cars than buses ever will be, no matter how 'fancy' or 'showcase' you make them.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/844
Written by drew22299 on Tuesday, 11th July 2006

Yes, it seems that proposals for showcase bus schemes and road improvments are exactly what the DfT wants to hear about.

However, people who agree that buses are not the answer and that they should be investing in railways and more services but then people in agreement will be criticsed for being rail enthusiasts.

In which case I'm thinking a different type of credability is needed in terms of who supports the case presented on your website. Yes, you have the support of existing passengers of the service from Melksham and Yes you have the support of rail enthusiasts but what about the rest of Melksham? This is why I want to know if there have been any serveys to find out if people know what sort of service there is and if they would use it.

Then any argument aimed at those in support of more services can be undermined and cannot fob people off with the 'oh their rail enthusiasts' as there will be proof (i.e signatures) that the population in general are also in support?

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/850
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 12th July 2006

A bus service was tried many years ago when Melksham didn't have a train service at all.  That was before I lived in the area, but I'm told it was a flop.

Trains (when they run) at the weekend are often busy - many of the pictures on this web site including the one at the top of the forum are weekend pictures and they show PEOPLE and more PEOPLE.  By contrast, replacement buses (when we have them) convery just a quarter to a third of the traffic levels.  I've even had a bus to myself ... but then, with a midnight arrival in Melksham that was well ovr an hour after the train should have run, I wasn't surprised.

The daily National Express bus to London takes over twice as long as the train journey.  And no practical amount of upgrading the bus would bring it to the same journey time.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/853
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 12th July 2006

Drew, there's lots of further answers I've posted onto other threads ... I won't duplicate them here.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/856
Written by drew22299 on Wednesday, 12th July 2006

You recognise the need to ask the question of how succesful has the website etc have been yet you seem to have taken it personally. I did not ask the question with the intent to offend anyone or their efforts. I am impressed with whats been done here.

With reference to the end of the article you published this morning, 'what have you done mate' I didn't realise the question would create a strong reaction, I admit that I am a new comer to this website and haven't read all articles and material and researched to find how effective it has been so I can see why you have asked what have I done. However, I was not attacking anything. At most all I have done is taken interest in general to transport services and other related issues which in the past I would never have considered. In particular the Melksham line as I used it for much of last year.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/862
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 12th July 2006

Drew, I was also extremely careful to comment that I do NOT know your background ... whether or not you've been around the area for a while.  We ALL need to look seriously at what we've done and say "is it enough". Yes, as my personal blog article comments, I do feel I've worked by balls off to help on this and when I read something that could be construed as "you've not been very effective, have you", then I will ... just for a minute or two take it personally.  But, note, my careful publication of that on my own blog and not on the train site.

Are you able to come along to the Melksham Rail Development Group meeting on Friday evening?  I go along every 2 months, and I'm sure they would appreciate your support too as we appreciate your support here.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/870
Written by drew22299 on Thursday, 13th July 2006

The reason for posting messages on this website was to air my views about the lack of service in general and because it interested me. For this reason and the fact that I am still a student at University I don't see what input I could contribute other than what I have already said. Therefore, I don't feel I want to raise my level of commitment to attending meetings at this point.

What has my input been? I gave my opinion, pointed out facts that are already known, and offended you (unintentionally) which I apolagise for having read back what I posted initially, it wasn't very tactful.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/873
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 13th July 2006

I respect your decision in terms of how far you want to go with this; everyone has to make that call and there's only 24 hours in the day.

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/878
Written by drew22299 on Thursday, 13th July 2006

Ok Graham, I will continue to visit this site.  ;) When and where and at what time are these meetings held?

Re: Investment in road and bus services won't work - 305/883
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 13th July 2006

The Melksham Rail Development Group meets on the second Friday of each month at 19:30 at the Town Hall in the centre of Melksham.

Details of MRDG

The MRDG funded the leaflet that went our to promote the service and raise community awareness about 9 months ago, there's information from them and their members posted on this site. We're very grateful fo that support. However, we (the operators of this web site) have not sought site sponsorship from MRDG - see why.

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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