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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 22223 times)
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #210 on: October 09, 2021, 08:55:22 pm »

I see GWR (Great Western Railway) are now advertising that they will be accepting tickets on these journeys on Saturdays whilst SWR» (South Western Railway - about) are unable to run their services - no doubt with one (or perhaps two!) eyes on the future.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #211 on: October 09, 2021, 10:05:36 pm »

One has to wonder what will happen with the fares structure to London. At the moment from WMN» (Warminster - next trains):Railcard Advance singles - a date picked at random.
 
0748 to WAT with SWR» (South Western Railway - about): £14.75 Std, £24.35 1st. Direct.
0738 to PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) with GWR (Great Western Railway): £26.90 Std, £58.05 1st. Via WSB» (Westbury - next trains).
If you are feeling really adventurous you can go "hybrid" to PAD (d 0748) with both GWR & SWR and go via BSK (Brake Standard Corridor (carriage)) & RDG(resolve) for £34.80 Std or £104.05 1st.
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grahame
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« Reply #212 on: October 10, 2021, 06:03:50 am »

One has to wonder what will happen with the fares structure to London.

Indeed. Taking a look at another aspect, there are currently day return fares from places like Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa (and Trowbridge and Frome and Sea Mills!) to London, via Warminster and Salisbury and with fares set by SWR» (South Western Railway - about).   There are no day return fares via Swindon - only period returns - and they typically work out more expensive.

Will the SWR fares still be offered after the fare revision in January? We have to consider the scenario of our campaign failing to retain the trains, and whether a fare set by an operator not present any more would last. Will GWR (Great Western Railway) provide day return and other fares at similar levels to SWR have done as they offer what we are told is to be the alternative provision?
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grahame
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« Reply #213 on: October 10, 2021, 06:09:30 am »

Yesterday - Saturday 9th October 2021 - was the first full day promoting the petition which asks people to sign up to ask the government to "Continue to run through trains from Bristol to Waterloo via Trowbridge".

Numbers signed by midnight (by local constituency set to loose London service) were:
Chippenham - Michelle Donelan MP (Member of Parliament) - 164 signatures (Bradford-on-Avon Station)
South West Wiltshire - Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP - also 164 signatures (Trowbridge Station)
Bath - Wera Hobhouse MP - 71 signatures (Oldfield Park Station)
North East Somerset - Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 34 signatures (Keynsham Station)

West Wilts Rail User Group, Railfuture, and Two Tunnels are also providing publicity - and more to follow from other supporting 'sponsors', and a lot of people have shared, written, informed - all I have done apart from my Coffee Shop "base" is to post to local Facebook groups for the places most affects.

A big THANK YOU to those (you know who you are especially) providing so much help.  With the number of signatures in just one full day, we can now answer "does anyone care" ... as if the powers that be hadn't been able to see all the people who've used these trains over the years and have come back so strongly on the line recently. But the petition (at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 ) and follow up meeting (Trowbridge and Zoom, 20th October at http://www.passenger.chat/25522 ) are just one step towards us having a logical, sensible, well used, affordable service running next year, rather that the unfortunate alternative of pulling off a success story at the very time it's most needed.
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grahame
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« Reply #214 on: October 10, 2021, 06:22:43 am »

From last month ... (dated 21st September) to a correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon and now shared

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR (Great Western Railway) and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #215 on: October 10, 2021, 08:48:58 am »


Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR (Great Western Railway) and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

Typical meaningless corporate verbiage ....................what did Greta say ? "Blah, blah, blah ......."
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #216 on: October 10, 2021, 09:23:40 am »


Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR (Great Western Railway) and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

Typical meaningless corporate verbiage ....................what did Greta say ? "Blah, blah, blah ......."

For balance, and in the interest of fairness and objectivity, it would be informative to see the original correspondence from the mysterious "correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon"?

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grahame
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« Reply #217 on: October 10, 2021, 10:42:02 am »

For balance, and in the interest of fairness and objectivity, it would be informative to see the original correspondence from the mysterious "correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon"?

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=25526.msg312922#msg312922 - the original contains personal information which I am not at liberty to share, but I have put up a version with a few redacted elements on that "Transport Scholars" area.

The basis is a weekly round trip for family reasons to a place in Kent for someone who is mobile, but not wonderfully supple to make a load of changes.
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« Reply #218 on: October 10, 2021, 12:22:31 pm »

From last month ... (dated 21st September) to a correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon and now shared

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR (Great Western Railway) and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

In my view, the most interesting section of Claire Mann's response is this bit (my highlighting in bold) :

Quote from: Claire Mann
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.

This perfectly illustrates the mountain that Andrew Haines - if he does indeed become CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of GBR (Great British Railways) - will have to climb. Remember this? (again, my highlighting in bold) :

Andrew Haines shows his mettle in this article.

With his backing for rail reopenings, a “welcoming” and “reliable” railway that minimises disruption and encourages travel, developing leisure traffic, and facilitating an "end to end service", he acheives that most rare of things, a conference speech by a Network Rail executive that I find difficult to disagree with.

Has Haines finally found his "Burning Platform for Change" ?

Quote from: New Civil Engineer
At the RIA Innovation Conference, Haines emphasised that tapping into the leisure travel market could also have a role to play in sustaining the railway long-term. However he said passengers need an "end to end service".

“So often when I look at where I want to go at the weekend it’s great if I’m happy to walk three miles from the railway station to the place of historic interest or walk but that’s not viable for a lot of people," he said.

Network Rail will also consider when it undertakes maintenance work to perhaps facilitate more leisure travel, with a large amount of renewals currently taking place over weekends and bank holidays.

Now, I deal with public transport strategy over here in Brittany on a day-to-day basis, and the fact is you cant please all the people all of the time - That's just the way life goes. What you absolutely must do though - above all else - is make sure that your strategy is at least coherent.

Andrew, if you are reading this - and rumour has it that you probably are - then my advice to you, given that you are are now head of the GBR Transition Team, would be to seriously consider whether you really want this proposal to be the first very public demonstration of intent of GBR future policy going forward.
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Mark A
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« Reply #219 on: October 10, 2021, 02:18:35 pm »

Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #220 on: October 10, 2021, 04:23:46 pm »

Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark

The way I read it from Claire Mann's comments, particularly the one Lee highlights,  is that this is being driven by Government policy to prioritise commuter/school routes (which generate more income) than a primarily leisure route such as the one in question, especially where there is the potential for duplication,  and save money since the railways have been sucking up even more vast amounts of subsidy than usual in order to keep services running during the COVID period?

Were this to be a battle that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.
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Lee
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« Reply #221 on: October 10, 2021, 05:16:23 pm »

Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark

The way I read it from Claire Mann's comments, particularly the one Lee highlights,  is that this is being driven by Government policy to prioritise commuter/school routes (which generate more income) than a primarily leisure route such as the one in question, especially where there is the potential for duplication,  and save money since the railways have been sucking up even more vast amounts of subsidy than usual in order to keep services running during the COVID period?

Were this to be a battle that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.

I was more highlighting the difference between the justification that Claire Mann is giving to remove the services, which as TG rightly says is apparently to prioritise commuter/school traffic over leisure traffic, and the likely first CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of GBR (Great British Railways) Andrew Haines clearly stated preference to prioritise that leisure traffic. With a public transport policy, whether the public themselves like it or dont like it, the one thing it must be is coherent, and given that this difference goes to the very heart of the service provision question on this route, it creates a situation where one hand literally doesnt know what the other is doing.

Therefore, if I were Andrew Haines, and newly-appointed head of the GBR Transition Team, I would be looking at grahame and Mark A's perfectly reasonable suggestion of deferring the withdrawal of these services to December 2022 so that the entire question of service provision on this route can be considered in a properly consulted and co-ordinated way, and working out how I could discreetly bite their hands off.
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« Reply #222 on: October 10, 2021, 06:57:11 pm »

I may have this completely wrong, but just wonder if Mark Hopwood has any questions to answer during his secondment as interim MD of SWR» (South Western Railway - about). He must have known of the plans to axe the SWR Bristol Waterloo services, but also knew that as returning GWR (Great Western Railway) MD he would be able to take advantage of filling the gap left by SWR.
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grahame
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« Reply #223 on: October 10, 2021, 07:01:25 pm »

Were this to be a battle that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.

You'll note that the petition reads
Quote
The Department for Transport has specified that the direct trains from Bristol, Keynsham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge to London (Waterloo) via Salisbury cease in December (2021). We ask that they continue to run pending consultation and effective ongoing provision.
and it's specifically a Government one and not one on another petition site.

"Much hope?" you ask.  Probably not if we just asked SWR.  But I note that a week is a long time in politics, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next two or three.  I would love the DfT to take up the recommendation from their own watchdog, which happens to co-incide with the petition request. It would earn them all a great deal of credit and the promise of community partnership towards a bright future.

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Mark A
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« Reply #224 on: October 10, 2021, 08:33:44 pm »

Sunday night. Petition now north of 1000. Good work, Graham.
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