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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 21806 times)
Mark A
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« Reply #150 on: September 18, 2021, 11:02:48 am »

From Basingstoke, and now 9 carriages, the train is now appears over 100% full.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #151 on: September 18, 2021, 11:41:34 am »


The 0850 BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains)-WAT IS running

I am NOT disputing that !
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Clan Line
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« Reply #152 on: September 18, 2021, 11:44:39 am »

From Basingstoke, and now 9 carriages, the train is now appears over 100% full.

Pre Covid that train was usually full and standing after Andover - depending who was playing at home that day.
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Mark A
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« Reply #153 on: September 18, 2021, 12:07:17 pm »

Felt like over a third of the passengers bailed at Clapham Junction, as did I. Long walk there to find somewhere to tap in with an Oystercard.
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Mark A
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« Reply #154 on: September 18, 2021, 07:43:52 pm »

Speaking with another passenger on  the return train, they'd discovered the existence this week, they had a chat with the train manager on the way up as to what a good service it was and he had to break the news that it has 12 weeks to run. There's very little public knowledge of this.
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Mark A
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« Reply #155 on: September 18, 2021, 09:01:54 pm »

Glimpse of the future at Salisbury, as this evening's 21:42 to Bristol is cancelled. Without a tweak to the timetable, that's the train that will be providing the connection for stations to Bristol, so, a potential one hour fifty minute wait.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #156 on: September 19, 2021, 09:24:14 am »

On pages 1 & 2 of this thread I recounted the saga of my daughter’s last trip from Waterloo to Warminster on a non-existent SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train.

Being a glutton for punishment she attempted the same trip again yesterday, with the SAL – BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains) segment yet again being cancelled. Having previously been told that the Cardiff train had priority and a 58 minute wait for Warminster was a “design” feature of the timetable, my wife and I decided to drive to Salisbury to collect her from there. The trains’ timings today were exactly the same as last time; her train was a few minutes early and the Cardiff (Warminster) train was a few minutes late.

I think some of you are probably already ahead of me here. …….the Exeter train was then let through Salisbury tunnel first and the guard informed the whole train that those who intended to catch the 58 minutes later train towards Bristol could now make an almost instant connection.

Those passengers were delighted, my daughter was somewhat sheepish……………..I was ^%$£ ”* fuming !!

Looking at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) after the event, it appears that both lots of passengers wishing to swap between these two trains were probably capable of doing so today, with the Cardiff (Newport actually) service being allowed to leave Salisbury first. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were to happen all the time ?  I’ll have another pint of what I was drinking before please …………..
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 10:24:04 am by Clan Line » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #157 on: September 20, 2021, 08:19:45 am »

Sharing a public post from Facebook:
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September 18 at 10:46 AM  ·

I'm very disappointed that BOA will be losing any kind of direct rail service to London as of Dec 2021. When they tried to do this back in 2006, the Wiltshire Times and BOA councillors campaigned against this and we kept our vital direct link to London.  We seem to be going backwards, as cutting the service could lead to more car journeys as people will not necessarily want to risk the poor GWR (Great Western Railway) service which often means missing the connection at Sailsbury and waiting sometimes as much as an hour.  Here is the rubbish response from the Dept of Transport:
Quote
Dear Ms [xxx]

Thank you for contacting the Department for Transport on 14 September

2021 regarding the timetable changes for South Western Railway’s services between London Waterloo and Bradford on Avon. Your correspondence has been passed to the Rail Passenger Services team for reply.

South Western Railway, like all train operators, has been heavily subsidised since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the railway open for key workers. While customers are returning to the railway, current forecasts do not expect them to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time. The overall passenger demand forecast expects a return to 76 per cent of passengers, compared to pre-COVID levels. As a result, South Western Railway and other train operators are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and the value of the railway to the taxpayer.

While we acknowledge the attractiveness of the through service to Waterloo to passengers, there are increasing capacity issues elsewhere on the West of England line, especially beyond Salisbury, as leisure demand grows. Consequently, the industry is looking to ensure that it can maximise the use of the South Western Railway diesel fleet on the core Exeter route, to ensure that customers can have better journeys. This has led to the decision to withdraw services between London Waterloo and Bristol in December 2021.

Only three stations on the line will lose direct services to London – Bradfordon-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park – while all other stations will either have direct services to London Waterloo, using South Western Railway services, or to London Paddington with Great Western Railway services.

Great Western Railway currently runs an hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury every day, which enables stations on the line to connect to South Western Railway’s hourly service to London Waterloo from Salisbury. All stations will have services connecting directly into the Great Western Railway services from Bristol and Bath into London Paddington, which run twice per hour throughout the day.

These proposals will allow South Western Railway and Great Western Railway to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury. While it is regrettable that customers from Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park will now have to change trains at Westbury, Salisbury or Bath Spa to get to London this decision will remove duplication of services and improve overall value to the taxpayer.

MPs (Member of Parliament) and other stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the South Western Railway December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July. Key stakeholders, including Transport Focus, MPs and other elected representatives, passenger and accessibility groups, and business and transport sectors, will be consulted by South Western Railway as part of the December 2022 timetable consultation.

Thank you again for contacting the Department for Transport. We hope this reply addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Correspondence Team, Rail Passenger Services Directorate

I am interested to read once again that MPs amongst others were "directly informed" in advance of the 2022 consultation.

First point of interest is that the wording is informed and not consulted, even though the text hides the failure to consult under the umbrella of another consultation relating to a changes to be made a further years from now. 

Second point of interest is that I spoke in person (in real life - a walk in the park!) with my MP, who's also the MP for Bradford-on-Avon on this topic just yesterday, and whilst news may have been sent to her office in some form, she was certainly not informed, rather surprised as the news, and asked me some very good questions ...

I have yet to find any of the passenger groups who were "directly informed in advance of the [different thing] 2022 consultation", unless the writer means that the consultation document was emailed to them ahead of the portal being open for responses, and it included the decision to cull the Bristol to Waterloo service deep in its pages.
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Mark A
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« Reply #158 on: September 20, 2021, 09:46:16 am »

Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.
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grahame
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« Reply #159 on: September 20, 2021, 11:24:03 am »

Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses ...

I think you'll find it's always going to be hard to get overwhelming community support, or indeed consensus, on services other than the primary ones, at any station.  Taking the extreme case of Cross Country. They run no stations at all and are the primary provider at a very limited number - and look at how their services have been decimated of late.  I have heard complaints from Torquay, but very muted. 

Look, more locally, at the Swindon to Westbury service.  Two thirds of the journeys made on those trains which could not be made on other direct trains and from Swindon to Chippenham to Trowbridge or Westbury.  But all four of those stations named have far more trains going to other places, and the town from which you really hear inputs about the thin-ness of the service, how early it ends in the evening, or the reliability is Melksham, which is accounting for only one journey in three on the line.

I offer you those word in thinking of an explanation, not in terms of offering a solution, I'm afraid. I was reminded when I saw the thread that "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time", and also of people's natural tendency to believe what they're officially told by their government. It's natural because the majority of what the government puts out in copious publications is correct and reasonable.
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DaveHarries
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« Reply #160 on: September 20, 2021, 11:27:59 pm »

[.....] or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.
Curously the December 2021 TT provides a total of 9 SWR services calling at Westbury. However if you look at Yeovil Pen Mill there are a total of 15. As far as the Bristol services are concerned I wonder if passenger figures showed that not many of those travelling on SWR services between Bristol Temple Meads and Trowbridge (inclusive) were continuing beyond Salisbury. I can only guess.

Dave
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grahame
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« Reply #161 on: September 21, 2021, 07:22:38 am »

As far as the Bristol services are concerned I wonder if passenger figures showed that not many of those travelling on SWR» (South Western Railway - about) services between Bristol Temple Meads and Trowbridge (inclusive) were continuing beyond Salisbury. I can only guess.

It's a fair thing to wonder, based on the decision to withdraw the through service.  But your guess is wrong - there have been, and once again are, very strong flows across Salisbury.  The majority of people on the train arriving into Salisbury remain on board, and observation will confirm that they come for the most part from North East of Westbury.
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brooklea
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« Reply #162 on: September 21, 2021, 07:33:40 am »

Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. The existing SWR services between Yeovil and Westbury (and vice versa), will continue past the December 2021 timetable change. The only significant change will be the late evening Castle Cary starter will run in passenger service from Yeovil at a slightly later time, allowing a connection to be made at Westbury for passengers travelling to Warminster and Salisbury off GWR (Great Western Railway)’s Cardiff to Frome train (which runs between Bristol and Westbury in the path of the current 2225 SWR service from Bristol).

Edit to correct the year 2020 to 2021
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 11:30:13 am by brooklea » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #163 on: September 21, 2021, 08:03:14 am »

Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. The existing SWR services between Yeovil and Westbury (and vice versa), will continue past the December 2020 timetable change. The only significant change will be the late evening Castle Cary starter will run in passenger service from Yeovil at a slightly later time, allowing a connection to be made at Westbury for passengers travelling to Warminster and Salisbury off GWR (Great Western Railway)’s Cardiff to Frome train (which runs between Bristol and Westbury in the path of the current 2225 SWR service from Bristol).

As I'm reading it, there's another factor which hasn't really made it into the spotlight of publicity.   Most of the Bristol to Waterloo services have joined with / become the 2nd train in the hour from Salisbury to Waterloo, calling at the three extra stations before Basingstoke.  However, those trains (off peak) are now to run as a shuttle up to Basingstoke and while that's the plan there's an issue with potentially turning the Bristol to London (Waterloo) service into a Bristol to Basingstoke one.  And from Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge, etc, London (and Waterloo station there - the busiest in the country) is a far more attractive destination than Boringstoke.

The SWR services via Frome and Yeovil Pen Mill are 'sold' as route learners, but I suspect there's more to it than that - there's an awful lot of them for that.  Is there an undeclared agenda to have all local services south of Frome and Warminster transferred to the operational management contract run using trains based at the Salisbury depot?  Heart of Wessex CRP (Community Rail Partnership) gone in place of new local setup; locals from Bristol to Westbury to become "Bristol Metro" - I wonder if we're going to find alternate stoppers from Bristol turning at Warminster and at Frome, which are a logical end of the Bristol travel-to-work area. Hourly from Frome,  hourly from Dilton Marsh, hourly stopper plus hourly regional from Warminster would be attractive. Problem that the other odd stuff (the Waterloos and the Brighton an the odd extras to Southampton) need to be tidied up in some "housekeeping" ahead of time.  Just asking ...


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Mark A
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« Reply #164 on: September 21, 2021, 09:39:53 am »

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. <snip>

Ah, glad to hear it. (Sort of!) Thanks.
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