|Wilts County Council could save the Melksham / Transwilts train
Yesteday evening, I attended the meeting of the Melksham Rail Development Group. You can imagine some of the disappointment that the franchise has been awared for a decimated service in spite of all the growth in recent years. Indeed, the First group wrote (in a letter received this morning) "There are sound arguments against the planned changes, many of which you have detailed in your letter" (See that letter / report) but the decision appears to have been taken ...
There's now a second stage of negotiation going on. Various county councils are "buying back" services from First - the Barnstaple line in Devon was quoted as an example. I'm told that they'll be getting to Wiltshire in due course.
Wiltshire County Council's head of Environmental Services, which include public transport, is George Batten. He can be reached via
G Batten Esq
Director of Environmental Services
Wiltshire County Council,
Wiltshire BA14 8JN
and it might be worth dropping him a note; he has to deal with all of Wiltshire, so he might not be totally familiar with Melksham and the TransWilts train service. I've written to him, including a copy of my letter / report to First described above.
It shouldn't cost a great deal to "buy back" the service; it would actually make better financial sense to fully utilise the resources that First will have than to run the rump service. Interestingly, the current service was arranged by Wiltshire County Council in association with Wales and West trains a few years ago. I would like to say "under a similar buyback arrangement" but the exact details are lost in the fog of time.
Written 2006-01-14 13:27:41
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