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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 15620 times)
grahame
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« Reply #240 on: October 13, 2021, 09:09:42 am »

From my Melksham blog at http://grahamellis.uk/blog286.html - where I have mentioned this campaign for the first time:


Quote


Transport changes - e-Scooters are legally available for hire in Bath. Next month, the railway line to Okehampton re-opens for regular passenger trains for the first time since 1972. And in December, Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon look set to LOSE their through train service from London.

Time passes, positive and planned changes are welcome, but withdrawing the though London trains to our county town, at a time when people are returning from Covid onto the trains, and at a time we want to encourage more use, without providing an adequate alternative and without public consultation is just - well - it just defies belief! These trains have always been popular and have become full and standing at times, again, on Covid return. Logic is to leave them in place for a further year, at which point extra "MetroWest" trains are running and the can be end-to-end joined to continue a regular, clock-face, strategic, attractive service.

The question comes "why are they being withdrawn". Different people give different stories. A Freedom of Information request has been stalled by the Department for transport while they do a "complex public interest" test, and that has me wondering what they want to hide. My personal view is that the Department for Transport wants to save money and thought removal of this service would be a soft target - not realising how busy it is, how popular it is. They also appear to be setting a precedent of not consulting - even their own watchdog says they should.

Over the last week, I have been helping co-ordinate the West Wilts Rail User Group, Two Tunnels, Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, Railfuture (Severnside Branch) TravelWatch Southwest, and the Coffee Shop forum to raise the profile of these services. Melksham retains all its train services in December - we are lucky - but we should support others as they have supported us in the past. And in any case, the trains being withdrawn are ones we connect into.

When we ask "why are they being withdrawn", we are sometimes told "because more trains are needed in Devon".  To me, that looks like a bit of an excuse; with the local Salisbury terminating at Basingstoke for 2022, and other services reduced, I don't see quite how the numbers add up (or subtract) to that.  Okehampton's being run by GWR (Great Western Railway), anyway, isn't it?
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« Reply #241 on: October 13, 2021, 10:18:28 am »

Perhaps some SWR» (South Western Railway - about) 158s will be loaned to GWR (Great Western Railway).  It’s happened before.
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Mark A
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« Reply #242 on: October 13, 2021, 02:48:40 pm »

*Snorts*

"Petition to save South Western Railway services gets over 1,780 signatures"

https://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/19643905.petition-save-south-western-railway-services-gets-1-780-signatures/

"Calls grow to save the 'valued' London trains under threat in Bath"

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373
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grahame
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« Reply #243 on: October 13, 2021, 09:32:13 pm »

How we're getting on ...





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grahame
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« Reply #244 on: October 15, 2021, 06:12:46 pm »

The Department for Transport have responded to my Freedom of Information request - 14 documents received a few minutes before 5 p.m. 40 working days after I asked.  We now have 3 working days (and a weekend) to work out what they really say and to see if we agreed with their case and logic, or wish to raise issues with them at the public meeting next Wednesday.

All the documents uploaded for our Transport Scholars at http://www.passenger.chat/25580 - if you don't have access there, please like this thread and I will cut you in.   That's really the place for details discussions of the technicallities.

I *did* just make sure my uploads worked ... here is the sort of thing you can read ...

13 April 2021, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) (name redacted) to Graham Stockbridge at the Dft:

Quote
We’ve carefully considered the passenger impact of this proposal. GWR (Great Western Railway) services between Salisbury and Bristol have been lengthened in recent years following the introduction of 5 car trains and turbo rolling stock. Further developments on this corridor are planned through Metro West and other schemes and given projected customer numbers there is little commercial need for SWR services which do not provide part of the regular clockface service on that route.
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grahame
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« Reply #245 on: October 17, 2021, 12:42:41 pm »

Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.
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« Reply #246 on: October 17, 2021, 03:22:49 pm »

https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/19652204.mp-calls-rail-service-cuts-plan-reversed/

Also the front page lead story in this week's Warminster Journal.
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Mark A
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« Reply #247 on: October 17, 2021, 03:37:39 pm »

Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.

Thanks for this. It's a very helpful read that pulls together the clearer focus that's emerged on the causes of this sorry issue and the opportunity to resolve it.

Mark
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grahame
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« Reply #248 on: October 18, 2021, 08:20:43 pm »

Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.

Not sure if this adaption is a good idea ... http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/ ... back to "Save the Train" which, you will note, is what we're looking to do.   And the old philosophy applies too:
1. Get people to realise there's a problem
2. Work out what needs to be done to get an appropriate service
3. Get that service
4. Support it like **** to ensure it works and works well - sustainable for many years
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« Reply #249 on: October 18, 2021, 09:21:44 pm »

I've just noticed this in the Bristol Post: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373
"The fact is that Paddington and Waterloo are two very different destinations."
Mentions a Mark Annand and one Graham Ellis.
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« Reply #250 on: October 18, 2021, 10:20:00 pm »

I've just noticed this in the Bristol Post: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373
"The fact is that Paddington and Waterloo are two very different destinations."
Mentions a Mark Annand and one Graham Ellis.

Of course the signature count is slightly out of date in that article. Just topped 2800 now...
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« Reply #251 on: October 19, 2021, 08:04:51 pm »

I was browsing through the West Dorset WATAG minutes of their meeting 23rd September. The report on rail services suggests that the units saved by the withdrawal of the Bristol services and Yeovil shorts will be mothballed and not, as claimed, used to strengthen services to Exeter.
https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf
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« Reply #252 on: October 19, 2021, 09:25:48 pm »

I was browsing through the West Dorset WATAG minutes of their meeting 23rd September. The report on rail services suggests that the units saved by the withdrawal of the Bristol services and Yeovil shorts will be mothballed and not, as claimed, used to strengthen services to Exeter.
https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf

Why am I not surprised............................?
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grahame
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« Reply #253 on: October 20, 2021, 11:11:59 pm »

Thank you to everyone who came along tonight. Too tired to write up until the morning. Management Summary - went as well as could have been expected with SWR» (South Western Railway - about) and DfT» (Department for Transport - about) there without inclination (or authority, I suspect?) to budge.
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grahame
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« Reply #254 on: October 22, 2021, 06:20:49 pm »

Meeting writeup at http://www.passenger.chat/25595

Following also shared on our "Transport Scholars" board but good public comment too.

In the adjournment debate in Parliament this afternoon (I have asked for a downloadable copy to share here), Sarah Olney and Munira Wilson called on the Department for Transport and Chris Heaton-Harris the rail minister to base permanent train service changes on real returning passenger data once it's available, and not on guesses. They pointed out that the consultation for December 2022 was flawed, and that we need to be encouraging passenger back to rail both for climate reasons and for the whole workability of our big city.  They decried drops of 50% in services as driving people away from rail, and questioned the real saving that would be made by merely having fewer train costs on lines with the same maintenance costs [or is there a hidden singling program somewhere?]. They pointed out that SWR» (South Western Railway - about)» had taken on their contract and previous services based on reliability promises, so to say that these changes are to improve reliability is contradictory.  I think it was Sarah Olney who said she could use the words she really wanted because they would be considered unparliamentary.

Like everyone, Sarah, Munira and (in words, but not deeds) Chris H-H are looking to grow traffic back on an attractive, reliable product.   Talk was of 85% rising to 93% of precovid services running on average, though some of the service quoted by the ladies are down to 50% and it's anyone's guess what passenger numbers are going to do. But one thing I can be absolutely certain of - if direct services from London to Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon and Oldfield Park are reduced to zero, passenger numbers will also be reduced to zero.
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