Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
Network Rail - input required on station improvement - 8063/13063
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 30th December 2009

Very short notice here (survey closes tomorrow - I WISH we had a good way of diaring automatically all upcoming consultations!) but please have a look at / complete this one before midnight tomorrow.

Network Rail are looking for your comments on how to improve stations.

I will be back here later in the day to make further comment

Re: Network Rail - input required on station improvement - 8063/13064
Written by admin (Graham Ellis) on Wednesday, 30th December 2009

The survey asks for your input on the two stations you use most often ... asking for you to rate the relative importance of a number of facilities ranfing from "easy to use ticket machine" through to "nail bar".  There are also free format inputs.  Here are some of my throughts / responses on what's needed.

Melksham - What's right and wrong about the station now?

1. Lack of appropriate train service
2. Lack of interchange facilities to bus / taxi
3. Lack of appropriate information for most journeys and about town / information point often broken
4. Lack of ability to buy tickets at station or nearby
5. Lack of heated waiting area, lack of toilet
6. Very dark at night / doesn't 'feel' safe

Melksham - What would you like to see done to improve the station?

Better Train Service - fill the gap between 07:17 and 19:11; the GWRUS and Wiltshire Council say an approriate service is hourly each way.

Connecting public transport (bus) and taxi links - "Melksham" is the only station in the town of Melksham, whcih has a population of around 23,000 and is growing rapidly

Foot / bus access from Spencers Gate in addition to the only current access which is though a 'cold' subway then through an industrial estate

Information needs dramatic improvement - the information system is often broken, the display boards lit from behind so can't be read at night and don't show train times to Bristol nor London - two of the most common journeys made.

There is nowhere to buy a ticket (or find out ticket prices), and no sign telling you that you can board without a ticket (which you can - but talk to the conductor as you get on to make sure that (s)he knows you're not trying to evade payment)

Toilet, waiting shelter that's closed from the elements, snack bar nearby, more parking (the station is easy to drive to off the trunk A350) should ALL come but there's a need for an appropriate train service in association with them to justify them.

Chippenham - What's right and wrong about the station now?

1. Excellent, helpful Staff
2. Good information to hand (but not timetables to rest of Wiltshire!)
3. Good service to Bristol and London.  Awful service to Trowbridge and Salisbury (use spare platform?)
4. Buses to my home town of Melksham arranged in a bunch at one end of day; rest of time involves a walk across town to bus station. Even those buses that do run from station appear to have given no consideration to CONNECTING with trains, and information on them is sparse - you have to know to walk over to the bus stop to read the one "Melksham" line on the departure list

Chippenham - What would you like to see done to improve the station?

Better train service to the rest of Wiltshire - the next three largest towns are Salisbury, Trowbridge and Melksham but there are only 2 trains a day on the line that goes there.

Better information about bus connections; better bus connections to Lacock, Melksham, Semington which are evening only at present.

Additional track (alongside the spare platform face) for a "TransWilts" service.

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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