|Regularity, Reliability, Realistic connections
I was down at the chippie yesterday evening ... and "talking train".
"I would use it if it actually ran when I wanted it and it actually turned up" .... "I have to go to Swindon, but I tend to get a lift / drive / go by road into Chippenham and catch the train from there"
Traffic levels have leapt since the train service to Melksham was increased in 2001, and they would leap again if the service was regularly timed (at xx minutes after the even hour, for example) and was reliable.
Regularity, Reliability and realistic connections keep coming up - time and again - as people's main concerns / the main reasons why they're not using the present service as much as we would like (make no mistake though - the current service IS used).
* People would rather have a regular service than one that's irregular, even if the irregular service gives a few more trains per day.
* People would rather have a reliable service than one that's so stretched that if fails to turn up sometimes, and they would rather have a service that takes a few minutes longer that one that's so optimisticaly timed that it's always missing connections.
* People would rather have a service that did connect even if they had to leave home a few minutes earlier, or if they arrived a few minutes later. There are some - err - gross examples on the current schedule. The first Melksham to Southampton train calls at Westbury TWO MINUTES after the London Express has left. Returning from Weymouth on Saturday evening, the train from Weymouth pulls in to Westbury 7 minutes after the Swindon train has left ...
Written 2005-09-25 08:09:26
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