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Author Topic: Greater Britain Rail News Round-Up (03/11/2008)  (Read 1508 times)
Lee
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« on: November 03, 2008, 10:45:44 pm »

Andrew Adonis has announced the appointment of Millie Banerjee as Chair and Member of the British Transport Police Authority (link below.)
http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=382994&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False

National Express East Coast have apologised after closing a ticket office at Waverley Station due to "staff shortages". The "tickets in advance" desk was closed around two hours earlier than normal last Saturday afternoon (link below.)
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/edinburgh/Rail-bosses-say-sorry-for.4651760.jp

Article about proposed cuts to the number of trains stopping at Kettering and Wellingborough (link below.)
http://www.northantset.co.uk/news/Trains-don39t-take-the-strain.4651041.jp

Californians are considering selling billions of dollars worth of bonds to start on an 800-mile system of bullet trains that could travel at 200 miles per hour, linking San Francisco and San Diego and the cities in between. In the Midwest, transportation officials are pushing a plan to connect cities in nine states in a hub-and-spoke system centered in Chicago (link below.)
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/03/america/03trains.php

Article on "Euro-commuting" between France and the UK (link below.)
http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/living/more/euro-commuter-live-in-france-work-in-uk-10143/

The DfT has released its Stakeholder Briefing Document for the South Central Franchise (links below.)
http://www.rmtbristol.org.uk/2008/11/southern_stations_to_get_more.html#more

http://www.canber.co.uk/?q=node/48
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John R
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2008, 09:04:53 am »

An interesting comment on the CANBER site re the impact of reducing stops at places such as Winchelsea. Whilst this has indeed reduced passenger numbers from around 7,700 a year to a fifth of that, 7,700 translates to 24 entries and exits per day, ie 12 return passenger journeys.

So, playing devils advocate, I can see why it was felt the benefits of speeding up the Ashford - Brighton service by cutting out intermediate stops was preferable to retaining 3 very lightly used calls. 
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 09:40:26 am »

An interesting comment on the CANBER site re the impact of reducing stops at places such as Winchelsea. Whilst this has indeed reduced passenger numbers from around 7,700 a year to a fifth of that, 7,700 translates to 24 entries and exits per day, ie 12 return passenger journeys.

So, playing devils advocate, I can see why it was felt the benefits of speeding up the Ashford - Brighton service by cutting out intermediate stops was preferable to retaining 3 very lightly used calls. 

Balanced against that (and bearing in mind that John is playing devils advocate) :

- It wasnt a case of speeding up a Ashford-Brighton service that already existed, more one of replacing a stopping Ashford-Hastings service with a faster Ashford-Brighton service. Such a philosophy was a feature of the Beeching era, and although others take a different view, I worry that this jeopardises the future of the smaller stations affected.

- Local campaigners recognise the point made by John, and are asking that some, not all, trains should stop at these stations, more or less alternatively and at reasonable bihourly times. This would be similar to say, Appleford and Culham or certain stations east of Guildford on the North Downs Line.

- When the DfT say "The withdrawal of the intermediate stops of Winchelsea, Doleham and Three Oaks has generated considerable local opposition", they aint kidding. I rather suspect that any extra stops would be better used than previous passenger figures would suggest.

- There are now three trains a day in each direction calling at these stations, but these generally run at inconvenient times early in the morning or late at night. This is yet another example of services being reduced to parliamentary levels, and CANBER felt it was right to oppose that.

The main point I was trying to put across when writing that article was that I feel that the DfT are shirking the issue by not being prepared to specify extra stops off their own back. Instead, bidders for the franchise will be invited to form their own views on the stopping patterns for these trains compared with the value of reduced journey times.

Being commercial organisations, they will probably reach the same conclusion that John did, allowing the DfT to tell the locals "not our fault, blame them."
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