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Volunteers at an MRUG meeting

Volunteers and Supporters

Looking forward - December 2018

Management overview

At MRUG (Melksham Rail User Group), we will be looking for much more active volunteer and supporter help in 2019. We have plans that will be able to make good use of people who wish to join in, and we'll be making it fun / feel rewarding for those people too. Through 2018 we've loved your interest but not had as much to do ...

Background

Volunteers and supporter are the lifeblood of rail user groups who seek to provide their members and train users with useful information, to improve the look and feel of the station and rail environment, to encourage new users, and to feed back to the rail industry and local and central government on matters which will help them provide a better tuned / more appropriate service - more appropriate for the users, and hopefully more appropriate for the users too.

As services on the TransWilts line through Melksham have built up over the past 5 years, so much help has been provided by our friends and volunteers - much of that routed through the TransWilts CRP rather than through the Melksham Rail Development / now Melksham Rail User Group. For 2019, there will be a change of balance; TransWilts under the chair of Paul Johnson carries on with much of the strategic / long term stuff, and taking the new direction from the Department for Transport for Community Rail Partnerships, their Community Rail Officer is now much more pointed to working with hard to reach segments of the community rather than with general traffic and users. That makes sense as a nationwide strategy for community rail, considering how rail traffic has doubled in the last two decades and the community rail movement is no longer about getting people to ride on (and hopefully help make viable) any train - there are now capacity issues such as we've had for the last 18 months.

Melksham - specifically - is a bit of a special case. Our station was the fastest growing in England (until we filled the trains!) and there is still a very great deal of growth available - rides per annum per head of population are still very low indeed compared to other towns, train service has moved up from "unusable" but only to poor - with some very long gaps, and the opportunity (and need if you feel we need to help the local economy) remains to grow general traffic and not just the hard to reach groups.

For 2019, MRUG will be taking a far more active role in organising volunteers to help promote Melksham Station and the services that call there, continuing to work in the gap created by the more general policy of TransWilts CRP / CIC with whom we wish to continue to work very closely, though MRUG is not a part of that organisation, but rather a group / corporate member and proud to be so and to work closely with them.

 


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Melksham Rail User Group - aims and objectives

From 1999 but still relevant in 2019
• To ensure a continued rail service at Melksham
• To increase the train service provided at Melksham
• To encourage train operators to provide connections with other train services such that a wider choice of journey opportunities by rail is available from Melksham
• To improve and enhance the facilities at Melksham station
• To seek improvements to the route between the town and its station
• To support initiatives aimed at increasing the use of the railway for freight and passengers generally, in order to reduce road traffic in west Wiltshire
• To increase local awareness of the advantages of rail travel and greater use of public transport
• To promote integrated public transport in the Melksham area

An update from 2016
• To represent the interests of passengers and other users of Melksham station on railway and government bodies, and to act as the prime conduit for feedback to those organisations, both through direct contact and through the TransWilts CIC
• By membership of the TransWilts CIC, to support the permanent provision of, and expansion to, the rail service at Melksham
• To lead Station Adoption activities at Melksham to facilitate, and where appropriate implement, enhanced amenities, including application for funding where applicable, for such improvements.
• To encourage use of Melksham station by individuals and business users, including promotional events
• To analyse actual and potential Melksham station users travel plans, and hence recommend potential improved connections
• To increase awareness of, and provision of integrated public transport more generally in Melksham and the surrounding area
• To educate users in all safety related issues and regulations

 

News and Upcoming ....


Melksham Summer & Autumn Train Timetable now available in the Town Hall, Library and Tourist Information Centre. Or Download from www.mrug.org.uk/Summer2019brochure.pdf

Saturday 22nd June 13:00-16:00 - Melksham Rail User Group has a stand at Shaw fete. Do call by and say hello. Shaw playing field, Beeches Green, Shaw, Melksham.


Wednesday 24th July - next meeting of Melksham Rail User Group. 19:30, Town Hall, all welcome - see [here]. Please come along and make your inputs heard

Tribute to class 153 trains - the single carriages which provided the vital stepping stone from no useful service to what we now have, 2013-2018 on the line, now retiring from GWR

New "Great West Way Discover" tickets launched - travel as much as you like on selected routes, two of the tickets include Melksham - great for a Staycation or for visitors to the UK who are staying with you for a while. There are now 10 different rangers and rovers that include Melksham - see [here] for a list including maps and prices.



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