for Melksham's public transport users

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Next public meeting 19th January 2022Zoom link

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Station Information Board and passengers

Melksham Transport User Group - travelling after Covid

The last 18 months, since March 2020, have been like no other year! The Melksham Rail User Group became the station friends member of ACoRP and has evolved into a more general transport organisation Melksham Transport User Group (MTUG). MRUG / MTUG have met online (via Zoom) during this time, with friends activities at stations suspended across the UK (the planter at Melksham has done very well, but the place as a whole could have done with a litter pick or two a bit of TLC).

We are now at the point where travel is possible ... safety has always been paramount, but with knowledge, facemasks (please!) and new cleaning regimes - and most services to/from Melksham have plenty of capacity for social distancing.

Some good has come from recent times. Online meetings, monthly newsletters, and developing relationships with partners should not be lost, as we have our work cut out moving forward to rebuild public transport use to, from and within Melksham both for our community and for the wider environment and climate too.

A review of the last decade and a look forward

We started the last decade with around 3,000 journeys per annum, and with Save the Train as the online campaign group for TransWilts services, looking to save the vestiges of the service that had been cut back a couple of years earlier.

We ended the last decade with around 75,000 journeys per annum, with the Melksham Rail User Group providing local encouragement and support - a rebranding of the Development group - but very much a "station friends" group, working as partners with the rail industry and our local CRP which grew out of "Save the Train".

Although passenger journeys have risen from 3,000 to 75,000 in a decade, that's based on a service that's risen only from unusable to "thin and poor". Gaps of 2 and half hours (10:01 to 12:32) in a service for short journeys such as Melksham to Swindon (25 minutes) or Trowbridge to Chippenham (19 minutes) put most people off using the service. Step up to a reliable hourly service, and passenger numbers at Melksham by the end of this new decade should exceed 300,000.
2009 -

2019 -

2029? -

Train and passengers at Melksham Station

Our mission is to maintain and enhance facilities at Melksham station and to act as an independent voice of the station users. This is augmented now by similar objectives for Melksham bus services.

Melksham is served by up to 18 trains a day on the line from Swindon to Westbury via Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Melksham Railway Station was closed in “the Beeching Era” - 1966. It re-opened in 1985, with British Rail, local councils and passengers partnering to bring back at least a part of the facility that had been so missed in the area.

The Melksham Railway Development Group (MRDG) was a community group that has worked hard over the years to support the station, though sometimes when the service was so poor it looked like it was lost again, and indeed if it weren’t for MRDG, Melksham might not have a station or train service today. Seven years ago, MRDG working with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, persuaded Wiltshire Council to sponsor, the Department for Transport to fund and GWR to run a three year trial of addition trains, and they have been very successful – for the first time since its re-opening, Melksham now has sufficient trains for passenger numbers to have grown well, and although the group is still very much concerned with further development, it was renamed the Melksham Rail User Group (MRUG).

MRUG has since evolved to look at transport in the town more generally and has become the Melksham Transport User Group (MTUG) in 2021. MTUG runs on a small budget kindly funded by Melksham Town Council and Melksham Without Parish Councils, and our membership includes representatives of both organisations. Events such as the Santa trips are costed to break even - their main intent is to publicise and promote the station and trains that serve it; any profit made is ploughed back into group funds. All work done for "MTUG" by the members is on a voluntary basis, for which the group is grateful.

The Group is also a member of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership, supporting the use and growth of local and regional passenger train services on the Swindon to Westbury line via Chippenham, Melksham and Trowbridge, with service on to Dilton Marsh, Warminster and Salisbury. It is also a 'friend' of the Community Rail Network (formerly known as The Association of Community Rail Partnerships -ACoRP).

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MRUG has evolved to the Melksham TRANSPORT User Group (MTUG) - still very much your rail group but adding in bus and other sustainable transport to our portfolio

Download train timetable May to December 2021

News and Upcoming ....
Trains now (updated 8 Nov 21)
Next MTUG meeting - 19th January 2022.
Zoom link for 19:30 on 19th January 2022: ((here))

Meeting Minutes from 15 September 2021 - ((here))
Meeting slides 15 September 2021 - ((here))

Car park - pay cash or phone in to RingGo 0203 046 0060 / location code 21575. ((details))

TransWilts publications
2019/20 Annual Report (28.4.2020)
Knorr Bremse press release (27.4.2020)

Bus updatesResources

35 Years Young - 13th May 2020
Online celebration - details
Picture are online ((here))

Passenger number predictions
How many passengers will be using Melksham Station in 2026 and in 2036? Neighbourhood plan input. See ((here)) for the web page or ((here)) for a printable version. Written 24.2.2020

Report on 2019 and plans for 2020 - Pick up a copy of our report at area board or council meetings or email to ask for a printed copy. Also available for download here

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Forum latest new topics

* Advent quiz - day 9 - topical pairs

* Advent quiz - day 8 - Where is this

* Christmas railway slide show

* Chippenham station meeting

* IET stuck at Dawlish

* Future of RoSCos (Rolling Stock Companies)

* Advent quiz - day 7 Railway Bridges Quiz