Wednesday, 24 January 2007

24 Jan - Our Lucky Day, On-Off-On-Off-On-Off, Wessex Trains Petition

hello. 0642 turned up and stopped at Didcot today - many people asked the train manager to ensure it did though, after yesterday. After last night's disappointment at us not being clever enough to get home for 1800, we were pleased to see that the 0714 DID-OXF was delayed, so as soon as our train pulled into DID, we hopped on to this one and got into work 25 mins early. Although we're weren't as disappointed as Alma who did not get home til 1945 (as she had an unexpected visit to Bristol Parkway) and had to sit on the floor on the train as there were no seats.

Journey home was OK but it sure is tedious having to catch 3 trains to go 75 miles.

Graham Ellis of Save the Train is leading a petition to the Prime Minister concerning train services in the South West of England, with special concentration on the "Wessex" area and
the TransWilts service. I have signed the petition, and so should you (please)!

The petition is an "official" one on the No. 10 Downing Street web site; it's at and we're promised that it will be looked at and each signatory will receive an emailed response/answer once it closes in 3 weeks' time.

The background ... last December, new timetables were introduced by the First Group at the behest/specification of the Department for Transport that drastically reduced many service - in Graham's case, the schedule of trains calling at Melksham was cut from 10 a day to 4. And that's in spite of greatly increased train use over the last five years.

He now has inconvenient and unusable services in some areas, dreadfully overcrowded ones in others - and a horrendous reliability problem too. Have a look at his "Worst train in the West" post, for example:

The petition asks for the return of an appropriate service on all the lines with trains based in Bristol. He is not asking for what WAS there before - but for a service for the future that caters for traffic flows that went by rail until December, and for new ones for the future. If you're from another part of the South West / FGW area / UK, you can support us too - the same story has been repeated from Saltash to Slough, from Ealing to Exmouth and from Iver to Ivybridge.

And .. PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, FELLOW TRAVELLERS and COLLEAGUES. And write to the key players who are listed here:

and visit our forum to support us, learn more ...

Graham says that most of his website's visitors, who used to travel by train, now drive!


Journey to work/meeting punctuality: 86%, 22/26
Journey home punctuality: 88%, 23/26


FGW alerts:
(These are brief as my husband lost my first draft and I am doing this from memory.)
No infrastructure problems. Check website
Full advertised service. No further problems following signal/points problem earlier.

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