TransWilts line service - request for increased minimum service specification in forthcoming franchise
We are writing in reply to the Great Western Franchise Replacement Consultation, question 21 asking for suggestions for future service patterns and changes which will be affordable, deliver value for money and provide a strong commercial, social and economic case.
Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Salisbury are all major population centres, but are currently linked by just two trains each way per day (additional trains run on the Swindon to Chippenham and Trowbridge to Salisbury sections).
Our request is that the franchise is specified to run a service at least 10 times per day (each way) Monday to Friday, 8 times per day (each way) on Saturday and 6 times per day (each way) on Sunday, with all trains calling at all intermediate stations - those listed above, plus Dilton Marsh which is now situated between two adjoining housing areas.
The amended service will provide a public transport backbone, North to South, across Wiltshire and will make a 'sea change' to the communities served, and the communities that use the stations listed above as railheads too. All the elements of the proposal have been studied in depth - commercial case, business case, operational case, surveys and trail services, as described in the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership response to your consultations request, at http://www.twcrp.org.uk/DfT_GWconsultation_TransWilts.pdf
and supported by copious other work and documentation listed therein. You will notice, too, very wide support for this proposal, suggestions of associated changes that will lead to greater efficiency in providing services in the area, and the consideration of wider future issues and integration. I am also attaching a copy to this email / cover letter.
The improved TransWilts service proposed has a very high benefit to cost ratio - three differing independent reports have returned values well in excess of the 1.5 threshold required. The scheme is actively and financially supported by Wiltshire Council (LSTF bid / scheme), by the community (draft CRP), by our MPs, and after the build up period of 3 years will be revenue neutral at very worst, whilst bringing major benefits to the economy and life quality of the places served.
We encourage you to specify 10 / 8 / 6 trains per day each way, as a minimum, on the TransWilts line in the forthcoming franchise, creating a winning combination for rail industry, population, businesses and the DfT alike.
The document has been prepared by TransWilts Rail and TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, who may be contacted by telephone on 0845 459 0153, or by e-mail at email@example.com
or by post - c/o 404 The Spa, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 6QL. Contact names - Sion Bretton, Graham Ellis, Chris Hankin, Phil McMullen. Please raise any questions you have with us - we look forward hopefully to working with the selected train operating company running an appropriate service on the TransWilts line in future years.
Sion Bretton, Graham Ellis, Chris Hankin, Phil McMullen
on behalf of the TransWilts Community Rail team.