|Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
The effect of customer consultations and customer expectations - 786/2279
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Saturday, 9th December 2006
"Everyone was consulted and your views were listened to". The view of a network rail employee on the last train out from Swindon last night. But, alas, I can see no evidence that the views expressed by users of the TransWilts have had any positive effect what so ever on the new service. It's as if consultation is seen as the final stage of a process - gathering a dusty report of "this is what the customers want" with no requirement to actually read that report and act on any of the suggestions it contains.
"It's part of my role to .... manage expectations ....". A comment that stuck with me from the presentation by the Government Office (South West) officer at Trowbridge. In other words, to hear what people want and then to ensure that they accept quietly what they were always going to be given in the first place. The officer failed to tell us of any positive movement he had made in favour of the TransWilts train service ...
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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
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