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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 40871 times)
ChrisB
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2021, 11:57:24 am »

And further, the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) have just today issued a PIN (Prior Information Notice) for a direct award of Great Western National Rail Contract (NRC). New national rail contracts are part of the transition towards a new commercial model for passenger services outlined in the Great British Railways: Williams-Shapps plan for rail. Contract start date 26 June 2022, for 72 months.

Wasn't GWRs (Great Western Railway) ERMA extended to that date?

The ERAs & then ERMAs were issued during the pandemic which terminated the franchise agreements. TOCs (Train Operating Company) are now contracted simply to run the services specified by the DfT & have no control over anything, with permission specifically required from the DfT to perform any service not specified by the DfT.

Which sort of limits any action against the TOC, with everything needing aiming at the DfT via your politicians.
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2021, 12:05:48 pm »

The '2022 service consultation that isn't a consultation with the public' aside, has the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) decision to cease the Bristol - Waterloo services in December '21 had any public announcement anywhere, anyone, please?

I have seen not see public consultation, nor public announcement, nor any other reasoning than it's "duplicating a service".  But such things can be easy to miss on busy news days, so I'm not able to be absolutely sure they haven't happened.
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Mark A
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2021, 12:11:12 pm »

Thanks for this Grahame - so the franchise was running from 20th August 2017 until 'At least August 2024' - the direct trains between Bristol and Waterloo being very much part of the franchise. Then Covid came along and kicked the legs out from under the franchise system, hence the national rail contracts set up to run from May '21 for two years (taking them to May '23) with a possible two year extension after that.

Following this, while the railway press (and the national press) have reported on the national rail contracts, there's been an asssumption that those are 'Continuity contracts', albeit with a slew of reductions in service levels - but the press has (understandably) missed the (unannounced) impending cessation of an entire service - and if they are aware, there has been little public reaction from groups representing passenger interests.

As an aside, visit the web site for 'Transport focus', and the masthead text is 'Transport Focus' followed by 'Working in partnership with London Travelwatch' and I wonder if the site owners know how that plays out in, say, Rhyl, Bolton, Dingwall, Bristol, Tavistock. They might want to change that.

https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/

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Clan Line
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2021, 12:19:57 pm »


Should you put out BOTH messages?  i.e. Retain, but if not, connect - or does that dilute both messages to the extent that they are both ineffective?


I think you have to do that - but not together. If you put out your lesser bid with your first, higher one.......you are sunk. (I watch Bargain Hunt you know!)

I moved back to Warminster in 2007. Since then GWR (Great Western Railway) (under various pseudonyms) have have tinkered and fiddled with the train service through here and achieved absolutely nothing of benefit to the traveling public. Their last promise of "more seats" turned out to be disingenuous to say the very least - clapped out 5 abreast commuter trains !! 5 cars ?? They seems to have vanished too !

SWR» (South Western Railway - about) have (had) increased the number of through services since then. Their trains are spotless, the air con works, the seats are more comfortable and the Advance fares are fantastic. Prior to Covid I used that service to Waterloo very regularly, either for day events in London or to connect with the "cheap" afternoon trains out of EUS/KGX to go further afield.

If DfT» (Department for Transport - about) is wanting to get rid of "duplication" -  get rid of GWR and give the whole route to SWR. I know who the paying public would rather see running the trains through here !
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ChrisB
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2021, 12:23:15 pm »

I have seen not see public consultation, nor public announcement, nor any other reasoning than it's "duplicating a service".  But such things can be easy to miss on busy news days, so I'm not able to be absolutely sure they haven't happened.

The way the railways work has changed. There aren't going to be 'consultations' any more with 'the public' - but with stakeholders (CRPs (Community Rail Partnership), Councils Transport Depts., etc.) - if you still want to have your say, then you need to open dialogue with them. I doubt the CRPs have the manpower to hold public consultations of their own, nor Councils.

It'll be a whole new way of trying to influence these decisions. And during the handover to GB (Great Britain) Railways, probably non-existent. The DfT» (Department for Transport - about) will pay for what they want; Influenced by the Treasury saying how much they can spend. WE may find more in the Comprehensive Spending Review which is due this autumn I believe.

Maybe open dialog with Transport Focus on this whole loss of consultee status - they're supposed to have the passenger interests at heart. We aren't the only forum/organisation waking up to the realisation that the public are going to lose the ability to be consulted.

London TravelWatch is now part of Transport Focus - when did that happen? (this year sometime)
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Mark A
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2021, 12:28:22 pm »

Chris B wrote: Which sort of limits any action against the TOC (Train Operating Company), with everything needing aiming at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) via your politicians.

Thanks for this, Chris B, and agreed.

Having logged a case with Transport Focus stating that this will be a matter for the DfT, they've initially referred it to the TOC as that's their practice - matters to be resolved by the TOC in the first instance. So, before it can go back to Transport Focus, I'm now awaiting a response from South Western Railways about a matter which is outside their jurisdiction.

I've raised the issue with my mp and they've taken it up the same morning.

This decision will be reversed once it becomes a topic of conversation in workplaces, coffee shops, bookshops, hairdressers etc - and it may have every chance of becoming just that.

Thanks for your suggestion to list the benefits of the service. The ordinary benefits of a through service are in relatively plain sight, but there are others that apply at the current time and I'll have a think about those. It would be interesting to know if there's figures for what percentage of travellers abandon rail as a travel mode when through services are no longer provided. (I've heard 30 to 40%)

If I was the DfT I'd be tempted to sidestep the political pain and put this unconsidered decision on hold at least for a year and possibly two.
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Mark A
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2021, 12:53:51 pm »

Clan Line wrote: SWR» (South Western Railway - about)» have (had) increased the number of through services since then. Their trains are spotless, the air con works, the seats are more comfortable and the Advance fares are fantastic.

Thanks for this perspective from Warminster. Thinking of tribulations suffered by the Bristol - Waterloo services from March 2020 to the present day, here's three.

* Covid: so, during lockdowns, essential journeys / keyworkers only = minimal passengers.

* Covid-related temporary suspension of the morning service to Waterloo (not yet reinstated).

* Friday 7th August to 3rd September 2022 - service truncate at Bath Spa owing to the engineering works at Bristol Temple Meads. Note that this for some reason breaks the evening service from London Waterloo, as it imposes an hour's delay at Salisbury before the train proceeds to Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bath Spa and then a bus to Bristol arriving at 22.30 - a journey time of 4 hours 10 minutes, so we'll say that that service is suspended, yes? Consequence: a damper on the trend seen elsewhere passenger numbers starting to recover.

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Clan Line
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2021, 01:05:25 pm »

a journey time of 4 hours 10 minutes, so we'll say that that service is suspended, yes? Consequence: a damper on the trend seen elsewhere passenger numbers starting to recover.

Sabotage Huh??
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Clan Line
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2021, 01:54:58 pm »

I mentioned earlier my daughter's 59 minute wait at Salisbury today. Just been watching Traksy. Her SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train arrived at Salisbury tunnel 5 minutes ahead of the GWR (Great Western Railway) train.The SWR train was held to let the GWR train through first.

I think my comment in the last post applies again !!

EDIT: She has just said that the GWR train was pulling away from P4 as they arrived at P3.
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grahame
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2021, 02:12:16 pm »

I mentioned earlier my daughter's 59 minute wait at Salisbury today. Just been watching Traksy. Her SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train arrived at Salisbury tunnel 5 minutes ahead of the GWR (Great Western Railway) train.The SWR train was held to let the GWR train through first.

I think my comment in the last post applies again !!

EDIT: She has just said that the GWR train was pulling away from P4 as they arrived at P3.

The hourly London to Exeter train (at least the example I looked at) has a 2.5 minutes "pathing allowance" after leaving Andover - in other words, it needs to hold back a bit so it doesn't need the line into Salisbury at the same time as the Portsmouth to Cardiff train.  So it's to be expected it will wait.   The arrival at Salisbury from London (next one) is working timetable 14:42.5, and departure of the Cardiff Train is 14:42 - I've certainly made those changes and seen that happen in the way you describe - it's by design.   But the design is to make a good interchange from Portsmouth and Southampton to Yeovil and Exeter ...

« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 02:26:13 pm by grahame » Logged

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ChrisB
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2021, 03:27:55 pm »

If I was the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) I'd be tempted to sidestep the political pain and put this unconsidered decision on hold at least for a year and possibly two.

No chance! The Treasury's hands are all over this change in direction. The railways are costing £2billion to support currently & obviously that can't continue. So until the commute - the fares that actually make a profit for the railway (where off-peak just ticks the railway over), the Treasury will win.

Asking people to change from minor (as opposed to major) stations isn't too much of an ask.

I'm not sure suggesting keeping services to 'encourage' more use through direct services at additional cost will garner much within the Treasury. Our debt pile is almost 100% of GDP at the moment.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2021, 03:58:01 pm »

- it's by design.   

Ah - I see. That would explain what made the next WMN» (Warminster - next trains) train late as well, so she had to wait the full "designed" 59 minutes !   Wink Wink
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Mark A
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2021, 10:46:24 am »

This weekend: quote from their web site below. It's not just the weather that's a washout, the Waterloo to... currently Bath Spa trains: cancelled.


Late amendments to train services Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August

Due to the volume of train crew required to self-isolate, please find below a list of service alterations for this weekend on top of the planned engineering work.

 

Saturday

    Services between London Waterloo and Salisbury will start from Basingstoke.
    Services between Salisbury and Bath Spa will not run.
    Services between Brockenhurst and Lymington Pier will not run. A replacement bus service will operate.

Sunday

    Services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids will start from Basingstoke.
    A reduced service will run between Basingstoke and Reading.

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grahame
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2021, 05:12:54 pm »

From The Week In East Bristol and North East Somerset (Page 2, left hand column)

Quote
End of the line for Bristol-Waterloo service

There are plans to withdraw South Western Railway’s London to Bristol Waterloo service at the end of the year.

The service currently links Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Salisbury.

It is understood that catering services on the route have already been withdrawn.

The route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) and Great Western Railway (GWR (Great Western Railway)), with SWR running five of the average 25 daily services in the May 2019 timetable.

Following a review with the Department for Transport, SWR plans to withdraw its current three daily services from December as duplicating services between the two operators is not deemed to provide good value for the taxpayer. SWR says that GWR will continue to meet demand on the line and services will connect into London-bound trains at Salisbury, Bath and Westbury. This week public transport campaigner David Redgewell said that he was lobbying the region’s Metro Mayor and local councils asking them to lodge objections.
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2021, 05:18:18 pm »

Good to read David’s on the case.
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