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Question: What do you think is the real reason that SWR» (South Western Railway - about)'s Bristol service is slated for withdrawal in December?  (Voting closed: September 12, 2021, 06:23:50 am)
To save money - 18 (23.1%)
To remove competiton - 7 (9%)
To clear paths for MetroWest services - 4 (5.1%)
We don't have enough drivers [who know the route] - 4 (5.1%)
To get people to use more expensive services to Paddington - 9 (11.5%)
To move the rolling stock to strengthen services to Exeter - 2 (2.6%)
We hadn't thought it through properly and need to save face now - 10 (12.8%)
To reduce the number of trains around and make operation more robust - 3 (3.8%)
We needed a sacrificial cow; this looked like one that would die quietly - 13 (16.7%)
Some other reason(s) - please post - 4 (5.1%)
I really don't know! - 4 (5.1%)
Total Voters: 28

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Author Topic: Why are the Bristol <-> Waterloo trains being withdrawn?  (Read 1488 times)
grahame
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« on: September 09, 2021, 04:18:35 pm »

See also http://www.passenger.chat/25368 for background

* South West Railway's service from Bristol Temple Meads to London (Waterloo) has been very popular over the years, and is just the sort of through service that will be very attractive to the leisure market as we come back from Covid.   

* They provides the only through trains from Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge to London, and almost all the through trains to London from Keynsham and from Warminster.

* From Salisbury to London, these trains couple onto (or provide) part of the regular service on that line anyway, so they're not "extras" there.  Between Salisbury and Bristol, some of them do run close to GWR (Great Western Railway) services, but some of them fill gaps in that service which GWR are looking to fill in once "the Waterloos" go. At peak times, they have also provided welcome extra capacity on the route, even when running close to GWR services.

* Waterloo and Paddington are significantly far apart in London - two different destinations for many - especially those not familiar with London.   It's not like having a choice of arriving into either Euston, St Pancras or King's Cross

* As the come into London, these trains provide wide connections as Clapham Junction and Waterloo, allowing onward travel to Kent, Surrey and East Sussex without the need to cross London

* It has been suggested that passenger wishing to use this route in the future can change at Salisbury - however, a change in the middle of a journey puts off around 40% of passengers, and the hourly trains on Bristol - Salisbury and Salisbury - Waterloo that will be left involve a wait of 51 minutes on one direction and 59 in the other - you can actually see the train you would LIKE to connect into pulling out from an adjacent platform if you're really unlucky.

So - why are these popular, well used, and very useful trains slated to be withdrawn?  I have asked and been given lots of different reasons.  What do YOU think are the real reasons?  Please vote in this poll.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 05:15:36 pm by grahame » Logged

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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2021, 05:15:20 pm »

Under DfT» (Department for Transport - about) orders to remove services along a line of route where they are the minor operator.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2021, 06:58:12 pm »

Under DfT» (Department for Transport - about) orders to remove services along a line of route where they are the minor operator.

Is that subtly different from "to remove competition"?
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eightonedee
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 09:08:24 pm »

Can we add another option-

"it's another decision from a London based person or body that has no real idea what services and facilities those based outside London use and value"?
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2021, 09:30:27 pm »

Can we add another option-

"it's another decision from a London based person or body that has no real idea what services and facilities those based outside London use and value"?

No - once voting has started that would skew things.  But we can mention it and see how many people like your post and/or this follow up, and that will inform just as much as a vote for it would.
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Lee
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2021, 12:49:30 am »

"Because the last people to leave the SRA» (Strategic Rail Authority - about) building in December 2006 set their revenge for exactly 15 years later, gambling correctly that dinosaurs with no imagination would be in position to call the shots once more."


Link not working - just a page saying the SRA has now closed!

Or has it?...Even we here are not safe from their emerging wrath!
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Vous devez être impitoyable, parce que ces gens sont des salauds - https://looka.com/s/78722877
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2021, 09:52:40 am »

I have chosen the Some Other Reason option; that being 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' given all the nonsense that was said & written about the pandemic permanently significantly reducing train passenger numbers.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2021, 08:22:33 am »

Can we add another option-

"it's another decision from a London based person or body that has no real idea what services and facilities those based outside London use and value"?

No - once voting has started that would skew things.  But we can mention it and see how many people like your post and/or this follow up, and that will inform just as much as a vote for it would.

Well - this is a bit embarrassing - more votes (via "like"s) for the writeins than any of the ideas I came up with.

I am going to propose CLOSING this poll early - at midnight tonight (Saturday). Most people who wanted to vote will have done so, and the extra 15 hours gives those who are still undecided a final chance.  That way, the written will remain reasonably current and visible for people during the rest of voting, rather than fading away up-thread.   And, sorry to disappoint readers, it's not as if our vote is actually going to change things - though it might (just might) help provide a further drip of data and thought to anyone who's reviewing the decision to "pull" these trains, even at this late stage.
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ellendune
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2021, 09:11:36 am »

This question is asking me to say what was the reason behind someone I don't know making a decision.  There can only be one answer to that question and that is I don't know.  It could easily be the re3ason they stated of course, but i have no way of knowing. 
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2021, 12:51:13 pm »

What do you think is the real reason that SWR» (South Western Railway - about)'s Bristol service is slated for withdrawal in December?

It's a decision from a London based person or body that has no real idea what services and facilities those based outside London use and value - 19 (*)
To save money - 18
We needed a sacrificial cow; this looked like one that would die quietly - 13
We hadn't thought it through properly and need to save face now - 10
To get people to use more expensive services to Paddington - 9
To remove competiton - 7

To clear paths for MetroWest services - 4
We don't have enough drivers [who know the route] - 4
Some other reason(s) - please post - 4
I really don't know! - 4
To reduce the number of trains around and make operation more robust - 3
To move the rolling stock to strengthen services to Exeter - 2

Total number who voted - 28.
I have bolded the top six answers as being the views held by a lot of people - at least 1 in 4 of the people who voted.  The other answers were far less popular.

With the single exception of "To save money", most of the high-voted answers don't indicate a poor regard for the decision makers.  Not just a difference of opinion with those people, but a feeling that they are plain ill-informed and incorrect or devious.  If the real reasons are as the Sectrary of State says to Mark A via his MP (Member of Parliament) ( http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=25368.msg311368#msg311368 ) the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) have done a piss-poor job of explaining with backup data those reasons to the people concerned who actually use the trains. There is a crisis of trust in the DfT on this one

* - I have counted "likes" as votes for this option.

Edit - correcting typos
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 07:47:49 am by grahame » Logged

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ChrisB
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2021, 01:49:38 pm »

The first thing to do is to get letters etc in the press etc to raise swareness. So far, there’s 30 or so (and fewer that actually *use* these services regularly) on this forum. Mobilise your MOs into collective action after raising attention. There is still time, but all the MPs (Member of Parliament) (which parties? Hopefully all Tories?) will need to be complaining together

I guess that there’sca GWR (Great Western Railway) regional timetable zoom meeting coming up for your neck of the woods - there is next week for the Thames Valley - start asking questions of them as to whether they can manage what’s being requested with the stock available, etc etc - coz if they can’t, that’s another feather in the arrow….
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2021, 09:46:15 am »

The first thing to do is to get letters etc in the press etc to raise swareness. So far, there’s 30 or so (and fewer that actually *use* these services regularly) on this forum. Mobilise your MOs into collective action ...

Yes, indeed.  Please do not read our 30 voters as being a measure of the total interest in this - the Coffee Shop is spread all across the South West, and just one place / point of interest.  This sort of mis-reading / diluting the interest by having it come up in lots of places but not very much in each can be a real cause-weakener and it's one of the reasons I am personally very careful indeed about starting things like online petitions.

On MPs (Member of Parliament), some initial responses from Wera Hobbhouse (Oldfield Park, Bath Spa) and Andrew Murrison (Trowbridge, Westbury, Dilton Marsh and Warminster).  Nothing from Jacob Rees-Mogg (Keynsham and Freshford) or Michelle Donelan (Bradford-ob-Avon and Avoncliff), but then I've no direct (bcc) links back with anyone who may have written to them and had an answer, so the jury is still out - or perhaps still to be sent out.

Looking at "who was told about this and when", there's an element of it being a side topic and wouldn't it be convenient for those who want this to go through for those who don't to be diverted into questioning how the system works and who knew when, rather than actually doing something sensible like a proper analysis and consultation for a 2022 change, rather than ramming through a cut from "Whitehall" at a convenient time to hide a bad decision?   There is, though, a need to look at the reasons, the reasons given, and the reasons behind the reasons so that the community can offer a solution which opens a door to a solution, rather than trying to get through a door which is not only closed, but locked and glued shut too.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2021, 10:43:45 am »

Having to get Rees-Mogg involved might not be a very good ‘omen’!  Wink

https://mobile.twitter.com/dan_arrows/status/1105213037512921091
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