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Author Topic: Return of public transport - how is YOUR town doing?  (Read 1362 times)
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« on: July 09, 2020, 08:52:34 am »

As from next Monday ... for Melksham
* All commercial and supported local bus services will be back to "normal" timetables
* 85% of trains running - the handful that are missing are sensible ones to be missing too
* The daily National Express Coach remains suspended
* Trains are quiet and there is capacity to travel with social distancing and without knocking key workers off
* Buses are quiet and passengers are encouraged to use "any service they wish"
See and http://www/ for our local details - pages which have been a bit of a moveable feast to keep up to date but may be stable after next Monday for a couple of months.

How do we compare to other towns?

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2020, 11:06:19 am »

There is a mixed picture here in Chippenham.

Most services are more or less back to normal. The two major exceptions are on routes 33 (Chippenham-Devizes) and 44 Chippenham town service.

The 33, probably for operational convenience, has seen its frequency doubled from 2-hourly to hourly. Previously there was a 2-hourly service via Sandy Lane and another 2-hourly service running between Calne and Devizes only. This latter service is now extended to and from Chippenham via Studley.

On a rather less positive note, the 44 continues to operate a Saturday service every day except Sunday when it doesn’t run anyway. This has the effect of there only being one bus after 1200 (at 1355) when the normal timetable provides for 5 (1205, 1305, 1405, 1450 and 1550. As this is the service I use most regularly Faresaver, suffice to say, were given the benefit of my observations in an email last Tuesday...

The reply I got (from a more senior individual at the company than the last time I contacted them) was well-reasoned and cited a lack of passengers on this route compared to the others that the company runs. From personal observation I have to agree with that but I do wonder whether the service currently being provided is part of that problem, especially that lack of afternoon buses.

The normal timetable has a first bus at 0935, then hourly from 1005 to 1405, then 1450 and 1550. The “emergency” timetable runs at 0845, 0925, 1025, 1145 and 1355. Having spent plenty enough years getting up at daft ‘o clock in the morning I have no intention of doing it now in retirement, so as far as I am concerned this precludes the use of the 0845 and usually the 0925. I doubt that I am alone, because not all pensioners employ themselves waking up the sparrows in the morning.

However, I am also old enough to remember the pre-Beeching service reductions on the railways, and the way that Bristol Omnibus Company reduced its lesser used services in the 1960s. In both cases there was a strong element of diminishing returns; whilst it is all very well, for example, withdrawing late evening services because too few people use them, this also has the effect of reducing demand earlier in the day as those “too few” passengers don’t travel outbound either. I therefore wonder whether the lack of afternoon services is not in itself contributing to poor passenger loadings.

Anyway I got the usual “we are monitoring the situation” thrust of a reply, with a suggestion that it might be possible for a service improvement after the schools break up as that would not require additional staffing.

We shall see. And I will be watching... Wink
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 06:48:57 am »

Reading Buses changed to a "near normal" service on July 6. Not sure when they restore a normal service. Some "rural" single deck services are doubled up (another one following) at some times to allow for social distancing.

Thinking about seeing how SWR» (South Western Railway - about) are doing tomorrow.
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 10:31:24 am »

Taplow Rail:

Crosrail have been running throughout regular as clockwork every 30 minutes. Station manned booking office closed TVM (Ticket Vending Machine).

A4 Bus

First Group  No 4 LHR Maidenhead every 30 minutes M F. Note be careful in Maidenhead Courney Busses also operate a Number 4 sometimes they share stops others they don't, so make sure you get the right stop. Information on bus stops is not very clear.

Courtney Bus 53 Bracknell Wexham Park Hospital every hour.

4 * No 15 Maidenhead Slough via Eton Wick. Odd times.

So everything is virually back to normal. Except for staiton booking office.

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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 12:14:39 pm »

Buses in Torbay are running to normal frequencies but do not seem that busy.

Two (there was 3) huge cruise ships are anchored in the bay with no passengers until the owners know what to do with them. Been there quite a few weeks.
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 05:50:46 pm »

How do we compare to other towns?

Difficult to tell here. The service between Tiverton and its eponymous Parkway seems as bad as usual, although it seems fewer services are continuing to Exeter.

Now, please!
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