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  • Electric Bus, Melksham: September 17, 2022
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Author Topic: 17th September 2022 - Electric Bus, Melksham / Route proving and invited rides  (Read 507 times)
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« on: September 11, 2022, 11:22:08 am »

Coffee Shop members (and guests who read this too) very welcome on 17th, but please get in touch ahead of time to book a place.   Email below covers the detail.  See

We will have an electric bus (from The Big Lemon of Brighton) in Melksham on Saturday, 17th September, 2022, for route testing. I am inviting you to take a ride on the bus and see what the future may bring to the town.

On 17th, the bus will leave Melksham Station shortly after the arrival of trains at 10:00 and 11:30 (from Swindon and Chippenham) and at 14:30 (from Trowbridge and Westbury).  It will also leave from the Market Place at 10:15, 11:45, 13:45, 14:45 and 15:45.  Pictures and map at

RSVP - Please reply to this email to let me know:
1. Which service (from the Market Place or Station) you would prefer to ride on.
2. Whether you will be bringing a guest or coming along alone.

Our proposal for the near future (what we are testing) is for a scheduled public bus service to run hourly from the Railway Station via the Town Centre, Sandridge Road, East Melksham, Pathfinder Way and the Bowerhill and Hampton Park Industrial Areas to the Police Station, with the bus to arrive at the railway station to connect to and from trains, and to serve the industrial areas just before and after work (shift) times. There will be extensions to Asda and to Berryfield.

Please note:
* Journeys on 17th will only pick up passengers at the Market Place and Railway Station
* Pre-booking necessary and capacity limited.
* There will be more space available on afternoon journeys.
* We will endeavour to run on time, but please bear in mind these are test journeys
* Test journeys include extra stops and will be slower than routine service.

ClimateFest (on 17th September) which this demonstration and route testing was scheduled to coincide with has been postponed to 2nd October, and the Melksham Transport User Group and Option 24/7 will be there too, to promote and answer your questions on public transport. We understand and agree the reason for postponing ClimateFest; our route testing proceeds, in muted form.

Graham (Ellis)

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2022, 11:24:11 am »

Facebook (here)

Members (and coffee shop guests too) welcome - from the station at 10:00, 11:30 and 14:30 ... from the Town Centre at 10:15, 11:45, 13:45, 14:45 and 15:45

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 09:53:47 am »

From my local FaceBook post ...

Saturday, 17th September 2022 saw a Higer electric bus operated by the Big Lemon from Brighton operating demonstraion and timing journeys in Melksham on a proposed new route from the railway station through the town, residential areas and inustrial areas, past sports, leisure, shopping and medical facilities to the police station.  The day received widespread support, provided a great deal of public information, and helped the team who arranged the day learn about the practical operational issues in providing the service.  A big "Thank You" to Colin and Lee, Phil, Lucy and Teresa who made up our team on the day and helped ensure it all went to plan, answered questions and gathered date.

We have christened this "bus route 16" and are looking at it as a potential part of the bus and wider public transport network in the town.  As well as servicing all the facilities listed about, the day highlighted the importance of connections. During the day, people arrived on the train and connected into the town, and they arrived also on the 271 bus from the Bath direction, the x34 from Trowbridge, and the 69 from Bradford-on-Avon.  People connected onwards to Westbury by train, and to Devizes (272) and Frome (x34) by bus.  We had good loadings on the bus all day - with people who were pre-booked, with people who just came along and took a ride, and with people who arrived on the train not knowing it would be there, and connected into the bus as a practical part of their onward journey.

The tests and demonstrations were not just an end in themselves.  We are looking at providing a really useful service at some point in the future - and that's the not-too-distant future.   And that service is proposed to run all day, every day, and become progressively more sustainable as it grows.  The amazingly good loadings and the busy trains were encouraging, cars parked at all angles at Oakfields and jamming the High Street show the need to provide more efficient ways to travel around our town, especially as it continues to grow and we simpley don't have the capacity to handle more cars.

We'll have a stand at ClimateFest on 2nd October and have an update for then. No electric bus in town that day - we're into a phase of planning operations, financial packages, and of consulting widely to help ensure that we know as best we can what people want and will work.

Pictures to follow ... off again on the first (diesel, Faresaver) bus this a.m.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2022, 08:24:06 am »

Pictures to follow ...

Passengers coming off train at 11:30

And on the bus into Melksham Town a few minutes later

Lots of people riding on all journeys - not just from the station - but for the rail forum I've chosen to use those pictures.

The Town Crier and his partner cried to welcome the bus

Wiltshire Councillor and TransWilts Director Horace Prickett (formerly public transport portfolio holder)
Melksham Town Councillor, formerly mayor and Wiltshire Councillor Pat Aves, came along to enjoy a ride

Other Pictures from the visit of the Big Lemon bus to Melksham on Saturday 17th September 2022 - a raw picture randomiser at with each picture labelled with its direct name. These take lots of space on the server and I plan to reduce what's there in a week or two. Full originals will remain available with me on request.  Technical note - My (Graham Ellis) copyright; available for use with my permission - granted to the Big Lemon, and to the team who helped on the day.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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