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October 18, 2017, 06:36:53 AM *
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Author Topic: Passenger Surveys - Melksham Station, October 2017  (Read 144 times)
grahame
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« on: October 01, 2017, 07:30:24 AM »

Passenger journeys at Melksham have risen from 3,000 per annum 20 years ago (when Peter Blackburn, our shortlisted volunteer at new week's ACoRP awards in Derby) took the chair for the first time at the Melksham Rail Development Group to 60,000 in the latest ORR figures published (year to March 2016).  If Melksham's traffic continues to rise until journeys per head of population in the catchment are comparable to other Wiltshire towns, we will see further growth - in a few years from now, we may well be looking at over a quarter of a million journeys per annum.

The current station platform and trains are getting to (or beyond) their capacity.   The road approach is daily swilling with people, bicycles, cars like it hasn't done in the living memory of most of us, mixed in with the industrial and commercial traffic of the thriving businesses there.   The station car park, with 22 extra spaces (making a total of 27), had just five free the other day (Thursday afternoon) when I took a look.   There's no formal short term (20 minute) parking, no direct access to the housing at the north (blocked by a fence between two pieces of council land) and no direct access to the housing to the West, where there's much new development - housing rather than employment.

A Station Masterplan, and also a capacity survey of the railway line, are being put together by various agencies and consultancies, lead by our local transport authority.   There's a strong desire for the growth to be able to continue, and a desire to do the logical thing and look at all aspects to work out what's needed, and how various steps in the development won't get in each other's way, nor create new issues or bottlenecks.  And to inform these processes, and processes of up-tuning services at the station (train and, we suspect, bus) too, we need to learn what current users are using the service for, their needs and desires, what's important to them and what's not.

So - from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd October 2017, passengers will be counted on and off every train.  On three out of the four days, every departing passenger group will be asked to take part in a short survey - with forms handed out at the station, and collected either there, or on train (a volunteer travelling on every train leaving on the Thursday, Saturday or Sunday).  Volunteer data collection will save on consultant costs - allowing for data to be gathered at the weekend too rather than just on a single weekday.

I am seeking volunteers to help - both "leads" who have helped / have some experience in this, and other helpers coming along for the first time too.  Message me here, email me, etc.    And I will be writing around to many individually too.    If you can spare 2 or 4 hours on any one or two of those days, it would be fantastic.    I'll be working with the consultants to ensure travel authorisation, health and safety issues, briefings, robustness are taken care of.  In spite of the odd issues with trains and the station, for the most part the customers are delighted that there's a service available to them and you can expect an utterly positive response. It's a really worthwhile thing to do - and we'll make it fun too.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 08:00:04 PM »

If my shift patterns work out, grahame, I would be delighted to join you - but I am subject to certain vagaries around my working hours.  I'll contact you separately with further details.

CfN.  Wink

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
grahame
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 08:33:04 PM »

If my shift patterns work out, grahame, I would be delighted to join you - but I am subject to certain vagaries around my working hours.  I'll contact you separately with further details.

CfN.  Wink


That's fantastic thanks ... we may be able to "float" one or two "shift leads" ... I'll be doing quite a bit, but need breaks, which can coincide with the availability of other leads.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
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