Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Co-Op MPs Call For Network Rail Shake-Up - 7816/12584
Written by Lee on Monday, 23rd June 2008

A campaign to end the "systematic weaknesses" of Network Rail which cause "unnecessary" chaos to travellers has been launched by a group of MPs (link below.)

The 29 Co-operative Party MPs, who work with the Labour Party, want the public to have more of a say over the way the rail infrastructure firm is governed.

They say if it were run as efficiently as the European average there would be cash for 1,000 new rail coaches yearly.

But Network Rail said it was already "incredibly accountable" to the public.

There are 29 MPs, nine members of the Scottish Parliament and four Welsh Assembly members among the Co-operative Party's 8,000-strong membership.

A party spokesman said the People's Rail campaign aimed "to remedy the systemic weaknesses in Network Rail that have repeatedly and unnecessarily caused chaos to the travelling public".

He said the current governance structure of Network Rail was failing passengers and the rail industry.

The campaign calls for all citizens to be given the right to become individual members of Network Rail.

The company would give all of its members the right to elect governor representatives to a members' council, which would replace the role currently fulfilled by its existing membership.

Industry members could continue to be nominated by their respective interest groups - from train operating companies or trade unions.

But Network Rail insisted the public had always been able to become members.

He said any accusation of "failing passengers" was "very unfair".

Britain had a "very high-performing railway", with more passengers using the railway than at any time since 1946 and "record punctuality" of trains.

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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

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