Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Outwards flow from West Wiltshire - 8039/13023
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Thursday, 22nd October 2009

6000 people explode outwards from West Wiltshire to work - to Bristol, to Bath, to Swindon.  And also to Salisbury, to Chippenham, to Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Even to London.  From Bradford-on-Avon, the major destinations are Bath and Bristol. From Warminster, they're more likely to travel to Salisbury. From Melksham - to Chippehman or Swindon.  And from Trowbridge and Westbury the flows are distributed pretty evenly across the major destinations.

Does "6000 people" strike you as a high number? Well - it's actually an underestimate, all be it a year old, from before the recession that we seem to be starting to move forward from in the South West.  It's an underestimate because the figure is a NET outflow ... and there are plenty of people who flow into Trowbridge, or Melksham, or Westbury to work too. Each of those towns has major a major business / industrial sector - Bowerhill, the West Wilts Trading estate, the White Horse Business park sprint straight to mind.

So why is it that we have a near-unused railway line that could be providing mass transit from Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge and Melksham up to Chippenham and Swindon ... with onward connections through to Oxfordshire, Berkshire and London ...

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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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