|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
DfT statistical methods confirmed to be flawed - 362/1091
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Sunday, 30th July 2006
You may have seen me commenting on the figures that the DfT have consistently quoted at me for the last six months as their "evidence" that usage levels were low ... how they showed an average of 12 passengers per train, but that figures from First showed an average of 32 per train.
As someone who studied statistical methods to degree level, I felt pretty confident in suggesting that the DfT's figures, taken over just 8 days by their own admission, were too small a sample to be relied upon, especially as no-one seems to know (or at least have made public) the dates of the survery and how seasonal it is.
I know a few users of the services, users have eyes, users can count.
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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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