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Author Topic: Ticket sales - the story behind the 2018/19 numbers  (Read 163 times)
grahame
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« on: January 14, 2020, 01:48:24 pm »

Ticket sales data for rail journeys to and from GB stations have just been released by the Office of Rail and Road for the year from April 2018 to March 2019.  These figures are keenly awaited by station friends groups as they provide an indication of how the station is doing, especially when compared to data for previous years.

For MELKSHAM station, ticketed journeys rose marginally from 74220 to 74534.

That is a remarkable figure.  Exceptional engineering during the year resulted in local trains being withdrawn almost entirely for 62 days so that our line could be used for West of England expresses or track replaced at Westbury.   Alternative buses are slow and unpopular, and typically carry only a few passengers. For local journeys, users of these buses may not have tickets either.  If I was asked to predict a "steady state" base number for the 2018/19 year, I would say around 68,500 - that's normal daily numbers for the 83% of the days the trains ran properly, and half the daily numbers for the days where it was mostly or all buses.

So that's growth - after removal of the extraordinary engineering factors - of 9% year on year.

Happy?  Yes - good to see it growing again when the train is running.  Early in 2018, the trains stepped up from 1 carriage which had no space for growth to 2 (or 3) carriages - the final peak "class 153" single carriage running in June that year.  And look at the trains now - there are seats available all day, yet try to cram those people into a single carriage and there's no longer any way they would fit - we are using that space.



Passenger journeys at Melksham remain a long way behind numbers for other comparable towns with a similar population.  But then service levels remain a long way behind service levels for other comparable towns with a similar population too.   Make no mistake - we are delighted that the service stepped from a train every 12 hours in 2012 to a train every 2 or 3 hours from 2014, but 2 or 3 hours is an awfully long time to ask people to wait for local journeys of no more than 25 minutes to the end of the line.  Put in another way - the timetable has gone from unusable to poor.  Hourly would be better ("appropriate") and with such an appropriate service, I would expect to see us achieving not 75,000 but quarter of a million journeys a year later this decade.
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 01:56:47 pm »

Perhaps the data can be compiled better and released much earlier as time goes by?  By which I mean a monthly total a few days after the month ends.  Perhaps even near real-time!  Itís a long while to wait - for example this is the first data for Kenilworth, similar in so many ways to Melksham.

The hourly service is the big difference between the two and the figures there (still to ramp up quite a bit I would have thought) gives you a good idea of the potential at Melksham.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 02:09:56 pm »

Perhaps the data can be compiled better and released much earlier as time goes by?  By which I mean a monthly total a few days after the month ends.  Perhaps even near real-time!  Itís a long while to wait - for example this is the first data for Kenilworth, similar in so many ways to Melksham.

The hourly service is the big difference between the two and the figures there (still to ramp up quite a bit I would have thought) gives you a good idea of the potential at Melksham.

Yes ... Kenilworth is a little smaller than Melksham, but also situated between two other much much bigger places with other rail connections.  Its figure of 170,912 looks like a good start and is where I suspect Melksham would be with a reliable hourly service within a year or two.   Double the number of trains and the number of passengers on each of them will be MORE than the numbers on each current train.

Even with the existing service and it running reliably, Melksham can continue to grow, though slower and to a lower peak.  Rejig the town's buses to connect at the station (rather than seem to studiously avoid it) and you'll have a better uplift too.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 03:49:50 pm »


For MELKSHAM station, ticketed journeys rose marginally from 74220 to 74534.

That is a remarkable figure.  Exceptional engineering during the year resulted in local trains being withdrawn almost entirely for 62 days ...

Along with Melksham, Pewsey and Stations to Theale suffered a similar fate (slightly worse but only for 50 days not 62).  Just looked at the numbers of those closest to us:
Hungerford - down 11.3%
Pewsey - down 10.4%
Bedwyn - down 8%
Newbury - down 7.7%
Kintbury - down 3.7%
Melksham - Up 0.3%
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Trainguy1044
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 03:56:44 pm »

Interesting stuff, the Marlow Branch (thats all stations have seen a increase), including Marlow which has risen by almost 14,000 people, and cant find the reason for the rapid growth from around 275,000 to 299,000!  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 04:11:48 pm »

Interesting stuff, the Marlow Branch (thats all stations have seen a increase), including Marlow which has risen by almost 14,000 people, and cant find the reason for the rapid growth from around 275,000 to 299,000!  Grin

Welcome to the forum, TrainGuy1044.

That's 8.75% growth ... a good figure.

Pure guesswork ... but having read posts here about car parking problems at Maidenhead Station, are people from who live near Marlow branch stations now walking to those stations rather than driving into Maidenhead, or is this a complete red herring?
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Trainguy1044
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 04:17:47 pm »

Hi Graham

Indeed it is.
As for people now walking to the station that could well be but Maidenhead Station has also seen a increase, so its a mystery where they are coming from.
Which brings me to another question if there has been a increase where do the extra people now park, hmm might investigate further, in the meantime happy studying the statistics  Smiley
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