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  • Melksham Bus Meeting: February 07, 2020
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Author Topic: Changes to bus services – Bath to Melksham and Melksham area  (Read 1980 times)
CyclingSid
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2020, 06:57:08 am »

£250m for cycling, 350 odd local authorities. Less than £1m won't get you far, especially for segregated cycle lanes or mini Hollands.
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 12:06:50 pm »

Melksham Independent News

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Huge public outcry in response to Bath bus axing

THE uncertain future of Melksham’s bus service to Bath is causing anxiety for its users, who have described the news of the D3 service’s axing as ‘devastating’.

First West of England announced last month that the discover D3 service between Bath and Melksham via Box and Atworth will be ending on Saturday 4th April, as it is failing to cover its costs and is making a loss.

The axing of the D3 bus  will leave Melksham with no evening or Sunday bus service to and from Bath, which has sparked a huge outcry from its users who rely on the service to get to work, go to college, get to hospital appointments, and get home in the evening. And an online petition to save the service has attracted the support of over 1,000 people.

Wiltshire Council – who currently contract the evening and Sunday service between Melksham and Bath to First Bus,  and support the service with subsidises –  has said that they are seeking an alternative operator for the service, but further information will not be available until mid-March.

However, local transport experts have urged residents to make their feelings heard at Wiltshire Council to ensure that they follow through with their promise – highlighting what happened in 2014, when Melksham lost its evening bus service to Chippenham when it was not replaced by the council.

Some reassurance has come from Faresaver, who operate the X72 service between Melksham to Bath during the day from Monday to Saturday, who have  said that they intend to tender for Wiltshire Council’s evening and Sunday service contract; and that they are also currently working on a ‘enhanced’  X72 service that will provide a bus service to all stops on the D3 route that are not currently covered by the X72 – which includes Whitley and Melksham Forest – if they are adequately used.

[continues]


Quote
In response to questions from Melksham News about the future of the evening and Sunday bus service, cllr Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways said,  “Buses between Bath and Melksham are provided by two companies – First Bus which runs service D3 and Faresaver which runs service X72.  First Bus has decided to discontinue the service D3 but Faresaver will continue and is looking at whether its service can be enhanced during the daytime, to cater for those passengers who previously used the D3 bus.

“We are currently seeking an alternative operator for the evening and Sunday buses between Bath, Melksham and Devizes. This will require a procurement exercise and so further details of evening and Sunday services will be available mid-March.”

Essentially, Monday to Friday is currently split into a number of sections

1. Early morning, with the first buses being First commercial buses
2. Peak morning commuter time to early afternoon, when First and Faresaver both run commercial services
3. Late afternoon, when Faresaver buses are sparse because the vehicles are on school runs. First running.
4. Peak evening commuter time, when First and Faresaver both run commercial services
5. From Bath 17:40 to 20:00. Also the 21:30 - First are running commercial services
6. 20:00 and 23:20 - Wiltshire Council supported services

No problem with buses between the towns in periods 2 and 4.

If Wiltshire Council come in and place a contract, period 6 should be OK, and I think there has been sufficient visible concern to make Wiltshire Council aware of the need to retender and buy in the services that hey bought from First from a new provider.

It's the "shoulder" - periods 1, 3 and 5, where First have been providing a service - the only service - that are very unclear at the moment.   Whilst Faresaver have confirmed they are looking at them, they have not found it worthwhile to compete with First in those periods until now; I hope their judgement will be different now that they hold a monopoly.

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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2020, 12:20:05 pm »

From some slides from the public meeting






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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2020, 03:03:38 pm »

Not that it is going to help passengers joining and leaving at intermediate stops, do enough of the good people of Melksham know that it is perectly posible to travel from Melksham to Bath and vice versa by train, changing at Trowbridge or Chippenham?

Of course, if Bradford West curve was reinstated...
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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2020, 03:32:29 pm »

Not that it is going to help passengers joining and leaving at intermediate stops, do enough of the good people of Melksham know that it is perectly posible to travel from Melksham to Bath and vice versa by train, changing at Trowbridge or Chippenham?

Of course, if Bradford West curve was reinstated...

They're getting better at knowing ...but there's no easy universal information system in Bath that tells you whether you'll be quicker by train or bus, and if by train whether to catch the London train or the "via Westbury" train.   Perhaps the biggest issues is ticket - there is no ticket I'm aware of that's valid on the x72 (Faresaver), the x76 (Swindon's Bus Company) the D3 (First West of England) and GWR - out on one and back on whichever is right for you at the time.   And as all services have massive gaps that's a real loss of flexibility and a frustration.

I haven't written about Bradford north curve for at least 8 hours  Grin

Regional Train services running every hour to Chippenham and Swindon (and ideally onward to Oxford), and also every hour to Trowbridge and Westbury and probably onward via Warminster and Salisbury to Southampton. Direct services to Bradford-on-Avon, Bath and Bristol Temple Meads should be added in the future but only in addition to hourly services via both Chippenham and Trowbridge.
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