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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 28284 times)
Mark A
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« Reply #165 on: September 21, 2021, 09:47:00 am »

Is the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) December '21 timetable available yet (and if not, where will it appear when it does emerge from the darkness?).

Mark
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brooklea
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« Reply #166 on: September 21, 2021, 11:38:18 am »

Is the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) December '21 timetable available yet (and if not, where will it appear when it does emerge from the darkness?).

Mark

Searching the RealTimeTrains website https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/ will give you the best idea of what’s being planned currently, but comes with the caveat that there may still be tweaks made to this. I’m unsure when it will be finalised and published.
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Lee
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« Reply #167 on: September 21, 2021, 12:27:07 pm »

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 ...




What happens to the Bristol-Weymouth's in your scenario, if we have hourly stoppers from Bristol turning at Frome?
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« Reply #168 on: September 21, 2021, 01:40:38 pm »

Daughter sent me this - taken from 1148 WMN» (Warminster - next trains) to WAT......presumably at Salisbury.

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grahame
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« Reply #169 on: September 21, 2021, 01:42:58 pm »

What happens to the Bristol-Weymouth's in your scenario, if we have hourly stoppers from Bristol turning at Frome?

Please remember, Lee, that I am saying "could" not "should" on these various elements.   What should NOT happen though, IMHO (in my humble opinion), is to wreck a well used element of the current service (the Bristol to Waterloos) without putting anything in its place in the next timetable.

OK - I did a lot of work on "south of Westbury" with Chris Loder who at the time worked for SWT (South West Trains)

Slightly depending on the turn-around time at Frome, and pathing, said service could extend to Yeovil with one extra train. Extension in a clock face pattern south from Yeovil was, as I recall, problematic due to where the passing loops are. 30 minutes south from Pen Mill puts you slap between Maiden Newton an Dorchester West.  You COULD do it with alternate trains (and one more extra unit) giving a uniform 2 hourly service into Weymouth, but that would break traditional patterns of usage of that line - something that would severely impact local year round traffic.

Another option would be to run a Westbury to Weymouth service, with passengers from Trowbridge and north thereof to Bruton and south thereof required to change. I can't help wondering if, when the SWT services stepped up from being route learners with a bubble car under Stagecoach to fully fledged passenger services that Chris' intent (they were known as "Loder specials") was for that line to become part of the Stagecoach / Salisbury operation.  Certainly, strategic growth is foreseen by many along there, and running if from Salisbury has an element of sense.   Chris has, of course, moved on from SW[RT] but now has a position where he can apply some political influence.

And ... don't forget the the line was the Wiltshire, Somerset and Weymouth (main line) when built, and there would be logical for the Cardiff to Portsmouth service and a Swindon (or Oxford, or Bedford) to Weymouth service to pull into Westbury alongside each other, swap passengers, and carry on. Of course, that would mean a significant station stop - 5 to 8 minutes - on each train to avoid the very absurdity that renders Waterloo to Bristol via Salisbury so disconnected (59 minute connection) when the through service is not running.  Which is where we started this conversation.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 02:00:43 pm by grahame » Logged

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Mark A
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« Reply #170 on: September 21, 2021, 03:50:54 pm »

The issue's now surfaced on Somerset Live:

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-train-station-lose-direct-5946379
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grahame
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« Reply #171 on: September 21, 2021, 03:59:56 pm »


Quote
A train station in Bath is set to lose its direct service to London this December.

Oldfield Park will no longer be served by the South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) train to London Waterloo, meaning passengers must change at Bath Spa.

From there, they can catch the Great Western Railway (GWR (Great Western Railway)) link from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington.

But passengers from Oldfield Park who want to alight at Waterloo will have to change at Salisbury onto the SWR train.

Probably have to change at Westbury too most of the time ...
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Mark A
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« Reply #172 on: September 22, 2021, 09:42:45 am »

Looking at responses from MPs (Member of Parliament), two so far:

Bath: dug two lengthy (and questionable) responses from the Secretary of State for Transport.
Kingswood: forwarded their constituents concerns to South Western Railways for them to respond, currently awaiting a further response.

Any others? As he was the MP who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark
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Lee
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« Reply #173 on: September 22, 2021, 09:46:46 am »

Any others? As he was the MP (Member of Parliament) who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark

I think that's one that grahame is following up, judging by a recent conversation.
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« Reply #174 on: September 22, 2021, 09:56:43 am »

Any others? As he was the MP (Member of Parliament) who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark

I think that's one that grahame is following up, judging by a recent conversation.

From one of Dr Murrsion's constituents, at the start of this month.

Quote
This is a copy of the letter I sent to Dr Murrison. I have had an automated reply saying it has been received but I’m not confident a “proper reply” will arrive any time soon!

I also have a copy of the letter sent to him by the West Wilts Rail User Group on 18th August; will chase up to see if there has been any substantive reply.  (The letter did not ask for a substantive reply - it concluded "We feel that it would make much more sense to return the Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo services to the May 2019 level and in particular reinstate the morning departure to Waterloo. This would give passenger numbers the chance to return to those pre-pandemic before making a decision as to whether Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo services should be withdrawn. On behalf of rail users in West Wiltshire, we strongly urge you to use your influence to retain these trains.")
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« Reply #175 on: September 22, 2021, 10:35:15 am »

A reminder from The Independent ...

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At 2.56pm on 11 September 2001, an aide in the Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) sent an email to the then transport secretary, Stephen Byers, saying: “It’s now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.” Jo Moore wrote the message within an hour of the second aircraft hitting the World Trade Centre in New York ...

I can't help wondering if this summer and autumn, with major concerns about covid still, with the Brexit "dividend" paying out, and with the climate change elephant beginning to be noticed ... whether Jo Moore's and Stephen Byers' successors are following the same thought pattern.  There is evidence that they wanted to bury this (in the December 2022 SWR» (South Western Railway - about) consultation - why leak the news out there?), and that feeling is compounded by their failure to provide answers to my FOI (Freedom of Information) request researching how the decision was made.

As most of our local MPs (Member of Parliament) are senior government members, it's sad and (for a cynic) only to be expected that their attention to a matter that a government department wants to hide is sluggish and muted. I wonder if my FOI request might be an embarrasment because the papers contain a "don't tell the children" message.
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Mark A
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« Reply #176 on: September 22, 2021, 10:40:20 am »


I also have a copy of the letter sent to him by the West Wilts Rail User Group on 18th August; will chase up to see if there has been any substantive reply. 

Ah, the West Wilts Rail User Group has a web site. With a news section. Glad they've splashed the Bristol to Waterloo trains.

http://www.wwrug.org.uk/news.html
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« Reply #177 on: September 23, 2021, 11:09:03 pm »

Posting in this thread as relevant to the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) timetable non-consultation. My bolding in the quotation.

From Hansard: Oral Answers to Questions Wed 22nd September 2021

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-22/debates/55CB1FF1-8683-454C-A3E0-2AE4F493E81C/OralAnswersToQuestions

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Chris Loder (West Dorset) (Con):
The bus and train operator FirstGroup continues to slash our transport services in West Dorset despite receiving millions of pounds of public money with no revenue risk at all, and having the worst rail line frequency in the country on the Heart of Wessex line. Will the Deputy Prime Minister directly intervene to save what little service we have on that three-hourly-frequency line or actively work to get a new operator that will?

The Deputy Prime Minister:
I thank my hon. Friend; I know he is a great champion for the people in his constituency. I understand that the Department of Transport has been engaging with the transport operators in his constituency. I also understand that South Western Railway intends to increase service levels to their pre-covid timetable by May 2022, and it has ambitions for an increase in the train service frequency on the Great Western Railway route. DFT (Department for Transport) will of course continue to work with GWR (Great Western Railway), and I continue to support him in trying to champion commuters and passengers on all those services.


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« Reply #178 on: September 23, 2021, 11:15:08 pm »

Of course, he might mean services on the Waterloo-Weymouth line are being restored. Oops...forgot about off-peak cuts at Sherborne and the SO Salisbury-Weymouth and associated Yeovil-Weymouth workings.
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Mark A
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« Reply #179 on: September 24, 2021, 08:47:13 am »

Thanks for flagging this, appreciated. And there, from the deputy prime minister, is the tell.

"...and I continue to support him in trying to champion commuters and passengers"

I'll leave that one for Yoda to deal with.

Mark

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