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Author Topic: Service Levels of Cheltenham - Swindon - London route  (Read 3732 times)
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« on: February 07, 2007, 07:15:35 pm »

The London-Cheltenham route enjoys a 2-hourly service pattern for most of the day. Journey times between the two locations are about 2 hours 10 minutes. On the other hour gaps are filled by local Cheltenham-Swindon services. Both these services are via the Golden Valley Line (Stonehouse, Stroud & Kemble).

A couple of services through the Golden Valley route continue to/from Westbury and Southampton, providing the reduced TransWilts service which FGW (First Great Western) implemented in December 2006.

The route has benefited from the provision of an hourly clockface service between Cheltenham & Swindon, however has suffered regular delays and cancellations...

> Northbound trains can be delayed by a large amount - in which case will be terminated at Gloucester and not serve Cheltenham
> Stock and staff shortages have lead to frequent cancellations on the route, especially the trains which extend to/from Westbury and Southampton via Melksham
> The single track between Kemble and Swindon which takes 15 minutes to navigate. A train out of place can cause much havoc.
> The landslip at Kemble causing disruption for a few days.
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 03:08:39 pm »

Hi, Welcome Chris ...

Have I seen some very odd patterns in the early morning with trains in quick sucession to Westbury (via Swndon) and London?

One of the questions that arose in my looking at the service was the timing of commuter jourenys rom the Stroud Valley in and out of Cheltenham and Gloucester .... are those service busy, do you know?  How are the new timings?   Were there any changes during the December '06 consultations on them?

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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 04:21:34 pm »

Were there any changes during the December '06 consultations on them?

Youll never guess what. There were!  (link below.)

Quote from the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) :

"I am afraid that the version of the SLC2 received in August was an earlier iteration of the document, which was never validated.  The document, which I sent to you last week is the true and current version of the SLC (Service Level Commitment) 2, and is the timetable that FGW (First Great Western) operate their services by.

The SLC for route F5 Westbury - Swindon was re-timed in summer 2006 to arrive at 0749/50 to form an 0752 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa, calling at Kemble at 0807 and Stroud at 0822.  This was in response to identified passenger feedback in relation to schools' traffic on the Swindon/Kemble/Stroud line. 

I hope this explanation is clear.  Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this error."

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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 05:43:52 pm »

Thanks, Lee .... this shows the checks and balances that were being juggled .... with the original timetable and SLC (Service Level Commitment) being altered to favour the commuters in to Gloucester / Cheltenham over the commuters in to Swindon.   What should have happened was that both lines were given a decent service, of course.   But that's a story for another thread. on another section.

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