On page 49 of the consultation document, within the section on stations, is the following:
Station Travel Plans can provide important passenger benefits by integrating rail more effectively with other forms of transport (including low carbon modes). These plans are designed to bring together all the stakeholders with an interest in a rail station (rail industry, local authorities, passenger groups, bus and taxi operators, cyclists and others) to develop and agree common objectives and a co-ordinated approach to delivering them. A number of integrated bus, ferry and airport links exist on the Great Western network, and the operator would be expected to work with local authorities to develop these, although it will be up to local authorities to decide which stations they believe are important and whether improving station access is a local priority. It is expected that, where significant car and cycle parking enhancements are proposed, a Station Travel Plan may also be considered.
And the Question is asked at the end of this section
26. Respondents are encouraged to consider the best method for funding major station enhancements and are encouraged to consider any local accessibility issues that they believe need addressing.Is this subject far more important than the weight given to it in the Franchise Consultation, or is it best left for other times?
When we did a short poll here, we concluded that only one in 5 FGW rail journeys were complete in their own right - the others connected at one end at least (and possibly at both ends) with other forms of vehicle transport. Should there be consideration given to including something within the franchise to ensure good public transport connections not only from train to train, but between bus and train too?
I'm minded of the 19:30 train from Paddington to Bristol - the first "super offpeak" service and always very busy with people who have waited for that train because they're strapped for cash (the sort of people who don't have a spare car in the family to leave at Chippenham Station all day). It arrives in Chippenham at 20:45. The bus - also run by First - leaves for Lacock, Beanacre, Melksham, Semington, Hilperton and Trowbridge at .... 20:44. In fact, if you happen to be catching that bus for other reasons you can often see the train arriving as you pull out of the station forecourt.
Also - to seed this discussion - I'm quoting a post from another topic:
In rural Hampshire, many former buses have been replaced by taxibuses - and there are two sorts.
Firstly, there are services which run to a dedicated timetable - just like a bus - but are operated with much smaller vehicles - cars or people carriers or minibuses.
Secondly, there are services which are scheduled to run on certain days between x and y and various areas are outlined as being served e.g. on Tues, Thurs Sats a taxi bus will run between x and y and will make picks in a, b, c, d,. However, and obviously NOT so convenient, these services have to be pre-booked 24 hours in advance.
Could TOCs begin making contracts with taxi companies in very rural areas and then a ticket could be bought e.g. Hanborough to Reading route taxi + Oxford and then the passenger turns up at Hanborough according to a published timetable - is taxied to Oxford for train connection and vice-versa. The taxi driver could also offer the opportunity to carry heavy backage - especially useful for disabled or vulnerable travellers.