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Author Topic: Call for later service(s) from Bristol (and Bath) to Chippenham (and Swindon?)  (Read 6100 times)
grahame
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« on: July 27, 2017, 07:26:53 am »

A campaign [here] from 38 degrees.

David Gray who originated the campaign writes

Quote
Currently, the latest service from Bristol to London leaves around 22.30. This means for anyone visiting Bristol or Bath (next station, train leaving 22.45) for the theatre or a concert can't get the train as inevitably the show finishes later. I would like them to run a later service towards London so that people further away do not need to use cars.

The London train from Bristol serves Bath, Chippenham, Swindon, Didcot and Reading.

Why is this important?

Bath and Bristol attract visitors from a wide catchment area for cultural events and for pubs and restaurants.

Bristol has plans to develop a concert venue next door to the railway station. Thousands of car journeys would be saved by a later train. Thousands of car journeys to existing venues in Bristol and Bath would be saved.

I am disabled. I have to rely on others driving to take me to Bath and Bristol for the theatre and concerts. A later train would give me and many like me independence.

I agree that there's a strong social case and strong business case too to be looked at for a late service.   For all potential travellers, whether they're disabled or (in the vast majority of cases) not.   The last train via Trowbridge from Bath at 23:37 is often rammed (and, yes, it's quite a long train!); the last train via Chippenham from Bath, about an hour earlier, is not because it's too early for people who want to get home after an event.
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bobm
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2017, 07:30:07 am »

I would certainly support it.  Indeed I have looked at going to the theatre in Bath but as I don't drive and there isn't a late train, I don't go.
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John R
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 08:44:42 am »

I would certainly support it.  Indeed I have looked at going to the theatre in Bath but as I don't drive and there isn't a late train, I don't go.

2245 is usually late enough for the Theatre Royal even if it's an 2000 start. Bristol at 2230 is more of an issue especially as the existing venues are a good 15 min walk from the station.

A unit at around 2300 to SWI and then returning to Westbury is one possibility if that's where the crew and set need to get to to finish their day.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 09:03:39 am »

Or go to Swindon/Reading for a night out? The touring shows will all visit both towns, and there's no problem with late trains back.

I regularly use Bath for a night out and rarely have to leave a show early to catch the 2247 mentioned. Yes, the timing from BRI could be 15-20mins later, which would obviously make the Bath timing later.
It comes up from TAU that train, anyone know how long its layover there is?

I'm assuming he's from Chippenham, otherwise he's use Swindon/Reading as he would live there? And there's already a later train back to Bath at 2320.
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bobm
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 09:32:03 am »

I would certainly support it.  Indeed I have looked at going to the theatre in Bath but as I don't drive and there isn't a late train, I don't go.

2245 is usually late enough for the Theatre Royal even if it's an 2000 start. Bristol at 2230 is more of an issue especially as the existing venues are a good 15 min walk from the station.

A unit at around 2300 to SWI and then returning to Westbury is one possibility if that's where the crew and set need to get to to finish their day.

That's the point "usually" - it's going to be a pretty expensive night out if it doesn't work out.   A later train would be a safety net.

Or go to Swindon/Reading for a night out? The touring shows will all visit both towns, and there's no problem with late trains back.

That's exactly what I do - I can walk home from Wyvern Theatre in Swindon.
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John R
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 09:32:28 am »

Or go to Swindon/Reading for a night out? The touring shows will all visit both towns, and there's no problem with late trains back.


Swindon doesn't have the variety of options that the Theatre Royal, Hippodrome and Colston Hall offer.  Only a few of the touring shows visit the Wyvern Theatre, and very few of the big name acts that would typically perform at the Colston Hall.    
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 09:42:29 am »

What Swindon doesn't get, Reading usually does.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 10:27:39 am »

Perhaps Evening logic off Bristol Temple Meads might be via Trowbridge at 21:45, 22:45 and 23:45, and via Chippenham at 22:15 and 23:15 ... 15 minutes later off Bath Spa.  Final trains running at least as far as Swindon and Frome.

What Swindon doesn't get, Reading usually does.

Or perhaps run the final train as a 16x from Bristol to Reading, helping circulate the fleet between depots ... Reading gets it, and Chippenham and Swindon benefit from the fallout  Grin
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ChrisB
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 10:53:24 am »

Indeed - I can't see GWR wanting to run an HST any later off BRI frankly - that 2235 currently pulls the equivalent of 7 coaches around with just fresh air in them now. I use it quite regularly.

I wonder where the OP lives - he doesn't say. But this is a far better idea, and I can't support the petition as currently drawn.
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John R
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 11:08:48 am »

I'd agree that it doesn't need to be an HST, nor go to London. But the current service between Swindon and Bristol does suffer by being (almost) exclusively fitted around the London services, which does create some gaps.  Another is the hour gap in the morning west around 0700 from Swindon which means (as an example) that Chippenham pax can either arrive into Bristol at 0710 or 0817.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 11:21:10 am »

As an aside, is it really the case that the last train out of Frome weekdays in any direction is before 2200? How useless is that?
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John R
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 11:31:45 am »

As an aside, is it really the case that the last train out of Frome weekdays in any direction is before 2200? How useless is that?
About 90 mins less useless than the last train out of Melksham in any direction.
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 11:47:18 am »

As an aside, is it really the case that the last train out of Frome weekdays in any direction is before 2200? How useless is that?
About 90 mins less useless than the last train out of Melksham in any direction.

There's a train out of Frome just after midnight - whether you call that "last" or "first".    I've never heard any serious suggestions that this train be added to the public timetable (it's run empty at present) but then Frome isn't within my sphere technically, so why would I have heard?

The last train from Melksham at 19:47 northbound and 20:32 southbound means that the TransWilts cannot address the "evening out" market, nor the market of people who MAY have to work very late, nor does it provide for those people who are travelling home after working a long way away;  many's the time I've personally been in Cambridge ... or Huddersfield ... or Manchester ... or Lincoln ... or Motherwell and not been able to get to Swindon in time for the 20:06.   And many's the disappointed day tripper who wants to go to Weymouth on a Saturday but would have to set off back at 16:08!

With Bath and Bristol, with Frome, and with Melksham, the accountants who look at the business cases need to remember that they're going to loose two journeys not one if they don't make proper provision for evening returns.  Then add in the extra factor of all those people who travel on the previous train, but won't use it if the know it's the last one and they might get stranded.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2017, 11:47:56 am »

But at least Frome has an Arts Centre to spend an evening at?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2017, 11:51:16 am »

As an aside, is it really the case that the last train out of Frome weekdays in any direction is before 2200? How useless is that?
About 90 mins less useless than the last train out of Melksham in any direction.

There's a train out of Frome just after midnight - whether you call that "last" or "first".    I've never heard any serious suggestions that this train be added to the public timetable (it's run empty at present)

I had noticed that there was a Frome terminator (from BRI?) around then, and couldn't discover where it then went....I assume Westbury?
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