TransWilts CIC and TransWilts Community Rail
Public and sustainable transport in Wiltshire

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Improving Wiltshire Rail Offer - it WILL be happening

27th June 2012 - The Department of Transport announced that Wiltshire Council was successful in its £4.25m bid which will help boost the economy and encourage people to use sustainable transport. The bid, entitled "Improving Wiltshire's Rail Offer" is under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership has been in support of Wiltshire Council's bid, and congratulates the Council on the success of the bid. We note with pleasure that the Department for Transport has approved the bid fully rather than partially funded, and we look forward to working with Wiltshire Council to bring all the various elements in the package together.

"Successful projects were those judged to perform well against the twin objectives of supporting the local economy and facilitating economic development, while reducing carbon emissions. They also demonstrated potential to deliver wider social and economic benefits, to improve safety, to bring about improvements to air quality, or to promote increased levels of physical activity." says Norman Baker MP, announcing the decision.

There is now a common concensus, based on considerable research - consultancy reports, Network Rail studies, surveys and a trial service that a train service at a minimum interval of 2 hours (hourly at peak) will bring substantial economic and quality of life benefit to the areas served. It has also become apparent during that research that a high proportion of travellers require onward travel facilities from stations along the line; the limited existing infrastructure to support such multimodal journeys would quickly become stretched by a new train service without enhancement, and indeed that extra infrastructure will encourage new journeys and journeys to convert from other less sustainable modes than would be the case without it. The research has also forecast a three year ramp-up period for passenger levels, requiring a degree of operational funding coverage. After that point, the service should be cost-neutral or approaching such, and carry on without considerable seed subsidy under longer term arrangements. A proportion of the seed funding has been promised by local government in addition to the £4.25 million - a real example of everyone working together.

What does the announced package mean for Wiltshire, for the TransWilts Rail line, businesses and people along the line, and for the Community Rail Partnership?

It means that the funding is in place to improve station infrastructure - bus access, cycle access, car parking, walkways, information systems, and other station and near-station facilities. There's funding too for specific station to town / attraction link services. And there's also seeding money within the total package, which includes an extra local contribution too, to cover the gap between operational costs and income in the build-up period.

A direct train from Swindon and Chippenham, via Melksham to Trowbridge and Westbury (at least) with a maximum gap of 2 hours between services, will allow:
• Practical public transport commuting from Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury to Chippenham and Swindon
• An opening up for business visitors from outside the area via Swindon and Chippenham to Melksham and Trowbridge
• Public transport links from Swindon and Chippenham to Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Salisbury
• Hourly trains (change at Trowbridge or Chippenham) from Melksham to Bath, Bristol, Filton (Abbey Wood), etc
• Leisure opportunities such as days out to Weymouth, to the South Coast, Salisbury, London, etc.
And this will reduce journeys that need to be made on the A350 road, and parking requirements and congestion in towns such as Chippenham and Swindon.

"Funding in place" does not mean that an operator has been identified and that we have a start date for the trains. At present, four companies (Arriva, First, National Express and Stagecoach) are tendering to operate franchised services over the whole of the South West of England, including on the TransWilts line. At the TransWilts CRP we are in touch with all bidders at a senior level, and helping to inform them as to key local factors and how the service will be best constructed and tailored to provide a maximum of benefit to our area, as well as being operationally sound and financially beneficial for them. We will continue to be in touch with them all through the bidding process, and we are delighted that they wish to engage (and are doing so). A fifth company - Go-op - is also looking to run a Westbury to Swindon service, which would continue to Oxford and Birmingham. Should their plans come to fruition in a similar timescale to a potential franchised service - or indeed at a later point after such a service has startd, their service will be most welcome. Analysis shows that an hourly service would result in trains being even busier than trains on a two-hourly service, so they would compliment rather than compete.

The LSTF application and linked plans cover funding for a Swindon to Westbury service every 2 hours, but the LSTF bid includes significant elements in transport linkage at stations to the south - Warminster and Salisbury - too. At the refranchise, questions have been raised about the shape of the services south of Westbury which run in addition to the Cardiff - Portsmouth expresses. Without moving any existing rail customer journeys by more than a few minutes, existing resources can be reused to allow for either an extension of the TransWilts service to Salisbury, or for an excellent same-platform connection to be made at Westbury for the journey onward, service intermediate stations at Dilton Marsh and Warminster.

For the Community Rail Partnership, this announcement brings a lot of hard work - already started in our discussions with the Franchise bidders. When the new franchise (and any other) services start, we want to help champion them and promote them - and their connections - to a high standard such that they can be enhanced and developed further as appropriate. We already have some successes achieved - the southbound Sunday service, timetable changes to improve Westbury connections, and the very successful trial summer service last year. And just within the last few weeks, a fare anomoly that we were pressing to have corrected has indeed been corrected, reducing the cost of anytime ticket from Swindon to Salisbury on direct trains by over 50%.

-- Graham (in my role as Voluntary Press Officer for the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership)
(written 2012-06-28, updated 2012-06-30)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z501 - Public Transport - Rail
  [4760] Rotary Talk, 25/7/2017 - (2017-07-25)
  [4727] Learning from travelling further afield - (2016-11-09)
  [4726] TransWilts Partner Update for Melksham Area Board - (2016-11-07)
  [4706] Melksham trial train service is to be made permanent - (2016-10-02)
  [4699] Melksham Rail Development Group - a celebration of 20 years - (2016-06-25)
  [4695] Melksham Rail Development Group becoming Melksham Rail Users Group - (2016-06-21)
  [4688] Melksham Station - as at May 2016 - Part 5 (services and prices) - (2016-05-30)
  [4687] Melksham Station - as at May 2016 - Part 4 - (2016-05-30)
  [4686] Melksham Station - as at May 2016 - Part 3 - (2016-05-29)
  [4685] Melksham Station - as at May 2016 - Part 2 - (2016-05-29)
  [4684] Melksham Station - as at May 2016 - Part 1 - (2016-05-28)
  [4677] Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham - day trips by train to Weymouth start for 2016 - (2016-05-18)
  [4665] Chippenham to Salisbury by public transport - what we have and what we could have - (2016-03-26)
  [4640] Who was Doctor Beeching and what was his axe? - (2016-02-06)
  [4636] Rail user groups worried about what is happening on the buses - (2016-01-31)
  [4623] Rambling from Westbury - (2016-01-16)
  [4612] TransWilts - robust these days - no longer the first service to be cancelled - (2016-01-03)
  [4598] 21 places to get your train and bus timetables for TransWilts - (2015-12-19)
  [4596] Call for help counting passengers - TransWilts, 12th to 14th December - (2015-12-10)
  [4578] Rail electrification - far, far too optimistic so over budget and late - (2015-11-20)
  [4539] TransWilts public transport corridor - (2015-10-15)
  [4515] Why has the hourly Chippenham to Trowbridge train been withdrawn? - (2015-09-24)
  [4512] The Weymouth Wizard - Saturdays in August from Wiltshire - (2015-07-31)
  [4511] The Royal Albert Bridge as you do not normally see it - (2015-07-12)
  [4496] Sunday train times - 17th May to 6th September 2015 - (2015-05-17)
  [4495] Swindon to Westbury train services - Saturdays from 23rd May 2015 - (2015-05-17)
  [4486] Newark to New York - the PATH suburban railway - (2015-05-05)
  [4478] Home in Melksham to Gatwick Airport - easy by public transport - (2015-04-29)
  [4475] New car park at Melksham Station - ideal for commuters from Seend, Hilperton, Yarnbrook and Holt - (2015-04-26)
  [4473] Fishguard to Melksham - third part of Dublin journey - (2015-04-25)
  [4471] Leopardstown to Rosslare by train - (2015-04-23)
  [4467] Neighbourhood Plan - travel and transport thoughts - (2015-03-29)
  [4464] Catching up on a week all in a single post (?) - (2015-03-21)
  [4425] A Welsh valley - what the transport looks like in 2015 - (2015-02-14)
  [4397] TransWilts / Press and Publicity report for AGM / 30th January 2015 - (2015-01-17)
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  [4367] A year of rail memories! - (2014-12-27)
  [4365] The changing face of Christmas - (2014-12-26)
  [4353] Celebration pictures, year 1 - (2014-12-15)
  [4352] A long day on the trains, but a rewarding one - (2014-12-14)
  [4342] My first official measure - Passenger Entrys and Exits - revisited 9 years later - (2014-12-05)
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  [4289] It may be cheaper to buy in bulk - (2014-07-15)
  [4276] Swindon to Weymouth - by train, the traditional way - 2014 - (2014-05-12)
  [4269] Survey - Journeys - (2014-04-28)
  [4268] Metrics - historic and current TransWilts train use - (2014-04-27)
  [4267] How effective is our publicity? - (2014-04-26)
  [4263] Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge, public transport over Easter (2014) - (2014-04-12)
  [4256] Train fare look expensive? There may be a cheaper option - (2014-04-02)
  [4253] Easter Weeks - Melksham to Weymouth - (2014-04-02)
  [4252] Staveton Halt, former station between Trowbridge and Melksham - (2014-03-25)
  [4251] Broughton Gifford Halt, TransWilts Railway Line - (2014-03-24)
  [4250] Lacock Halt - former TransWilts Station - (2014-03-23)
  [4238] A Question series posed to Melksham Tourist information - (2014-01-19)
  [4226] Saturday train to Swindon - two weeks in - (2013-12-21)
  [4224] TransWilts - first day pictures - (2013-12-18)
  [4219] TransWilts train services - up from 2 to 8 per day - (2013-12-09)
  [4218] A THANK YOU to those who have brought the new train service to fruition - (2013-12-06)
  [4217] New train service - launch plans and timetable links - (2013-12-03)
  [4216] Los Angeles - post modern transport system - (2013-11-27)
  [4202] Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons - (2013-11-03)
  [4199] Draft Westbury - Melksham - Swindon train times, from December 2014 - (2013-10-24)
  [4196] Official - Trowbridge and Melksham to London train improvements - (2013-10-22)
  [4195] Booking for Santa, Melksham Railway Development Group, 8th December 2013 - (2013-10-21)
  [4194] TransWilts Link - meeting notes from 19th October - (2013-10-20)
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  [4185] TransWilts Trains - running a successful campaign talk - (2013-10-05)
  [4176] International and off island travel from Melksham - (2013-09-16)
  [4173] Train and Rail Travel - who runs it and where do I ask questions? - (2013-09-13)
  [4163] TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - formally constituted - (2013-09-01)
  [4160] Bank Holiday Monday - pictures of a great train trip to Weymouth - (2013-08-27)
  [4159] People WILL walk to the station in Melksham, but they need a path and trains - (2013-08-25)
  [4154] August Bank Holiday - day out from Melksham to London or Weymouth - (2013-08-20)
  [4150] Melksham Regular Public Transport Map - as at August 2013 - (2013-08-09)
  [4148] Special General Meeting, Adoption of Constitution for TransWilts Community Rail Partnership - (2013-08-01)
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  [4142] Passenger survey at Chippenham - report and pictures - (2013-07-24)
  [4131] West Coast (of Wales) - railway and stations in pictures - (2013-07-04)
  [4113] Wiltshire and Melksham Transport - what is going on? - (2013-06-09)
  [4110] TransWilts meeting ... - (2013-06-07)
  [4105] Our day trip by train from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - (2013-05-28)
  [4104] Weymouth vis the TransWilts - the day out today - (2013-05-27)
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  [4022] A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated - (2013-03-01)
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  [3986] Rail services in Wiltshire - up in the air? We need to say what is best required. - (2013-01-20)
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  [3937] Agenda for Wiltshire Link Travel groups meeting, Saturday 1st December 2012 - (2012-11-27)
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  [3904] Want to help us improve transport in Wiltshire? Here is how! - (2012-10-26)
  [3899] Father Christmas to be on train in Melksham - (2012-10-19)
  [3893] Public Transport across Wiltshire - a new map - (2012-10-13)
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  [3882] Community Transport - Pewsey, Taunton, and the whole picture too - (2012-10-06)
  [3881] Wiltshire Public Transport User Group co-ordination - (2012-10-05)
  [3879] Mixed mode travel - Information systems - (2012-10-03)
  [3873] Henbury loop, Bristol - a freight railway line with passenger potential? - (2012-09-29)
  [3872] Trains across Wiltshire - an update on the TransWilts - (2012-09-28)
  [3860] Melksham to Steam in Swindon, by train - great day out - (2012-09-16)
  [3826] TransWilts trains - what the next franchise period will bring - (2012-08-04)
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [3804] Scenes from commuting by train - (2012-07-14)
  [3802] What a difference a year makes - (2012-07-10)
  [3795] Like a bathroom company with no plumbers - (2012-07-04)
  [3793] Excellent Rail News - what it really means - (2012-07-01)
  [3784] Steam train calls at Melksham - Pictures - (2012-06-26)
  [3765] Christmas in June? Melksham hotel bookings and Santa train - (2012-06-15)
  [3761] Melksham - placed 2254 out of 2255. What can be done about it? - (2012-06-11)
  [3736] Abstraction - (2012-05-19)
  [3728] The future needs for rail services to Melksham - change needed; current service an insult - (2012-05-11)
  [3699] Bristol 50? Bristol 25? - (2012-04-17)
  [3671] Future train services in Wiltshire - please write in to support a better service - (2012-03-24)
  [3668] Kings Cross - new concourse - between Python in Cambridge and Objective C in London - (2012-03-22)
  [3642] Wiltshire Travel Times - Chippenham, Trowbridge, Salisbury and other places too - (2012-03-07)
  [3631] Getting around Dublin by public transport - some observations - (2012-03-01)
  [3626] There is so much to see travelling by train - (2012-02-26)
  [3601] Rail Travel - has it become more unreliable? - (2012-02-02)
  [3579] Transport in Cambridgeshire - seen by an outside observer. What can Wiltshire learn? - (2012-01-15)
  [3565] What would an appropriate train service on the TransWilts line mean - (2011-12-31)
  [3564] I wish I was not a special case - (2011-12-29)
  [3550] Provide a useable train service, and people will use it! - (2011-12-11)
  [3538] Santa Train - another successful trip - 4th December 2011 - (2011-12-04)
  [3501] Santa Claus - on the train from Melksham on 4th December 2011 - (2011-10-30)
  [3493] West Wilts Rail User Group - Walk yesterday from Bradford-on-Avon to Trowbridge - (2011-10-23)
  [3487] Public transport - road and rail - (2011-10-19)
  [3486] How important is public transport to people in the Melksham area? - (2011-10-19)
  [3452] Which or ATOC - who reads train fares right? - (2011-09-22)
  [3434] Sundays - and over eating - (2011-09-11)
  [3410] A review of the Summer Sunday extra trains on the TransWilts line - (2011-08-29)
  [3408] Journey home by public transport for a Bank Holiday - (2011-08-27)
  [3403] Last chance this summer - Swindon and North Wiltshire to Weymouth by through train - (2011-08-22)
  [3392] What costs 8.20 from Melksham, or 22.30 via Chippenham? - (2011-08-14)
  [3378] New product - ensuring that supply matches demand - (2011-08-03)
  [3371] From Wiltshire to Weymouth on Sundays - (2011-07-27)
  [3370] Standing Challenge - (2011-07-26)
  [3364] Dogs Legs on the Dogleg - (2011-07-20)
  [3362] Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - Sunday Train Service Starts - (2011-07-19)
  [3336] Efficient travel - from Melsksham to Edinburgh by Sleeper Train - (2011-06-26)
  [3331] Comparing Alloa and Melksham - stations and services - (2011-06-23)
  [3328] Summer Sundays - days out by train from Swindon on the TransWilts - (2011-06-18)
  [3318] Summer Sunday Trains - outings from Swindon, Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury - (2011-06-05)
  [3274] Small scale improvement - big scale gain. And they CAN be done with local knowledge - (2011-05-02)
  [3273] Wanted - a look to the future - (2011-05-02)
  [3198] TransWilts rail - coming together, wanted and needed - (2011-03-10)
  [3187] Past and Present - Melksham Station - (2011-02-27)
  [3178] The cost of roadworks on the economy of our town - 1800 pounds per hour? - (2011-02-20)
  [3176] Comparing German, Dutch and British Railways - (2011-02-19)
  [3171] Train and boat journey - the passenger accommodation - (2011-02-15)
  [3167] Can I take my dog by train? And other questions - (2011-02-12)
  [3161] TransWilts rail - what picture represents us - (2011-02-08)
  [3141] Wiltshire Rail services - a golden opportunity - (2011-01-21)
  [3135] A time to be brave? We should ask for what is best for our area. - (2011-01-16)
  [3119] TransWilts - some things to see and do - (2011-01-03)
  [3114] Transwilts Link - both Wiltshire and beyond - (2010-12-30)
  [3113] Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham - more roadworks, even slower journey over the winter - (2010-12-30)
  [3111] TransWilts Link - Days out from Swindon to Weymouth? - (2010-12-28)
  [3080] Santa Special - rather more special than usual - December 2010 - (2010-12-07)
  [3079] TransWilts Rail News ... Melksham (Santa Special) Edition ... 5th December 2010 - (2010-12-04)
  [3033] Rail services back to Radstock? - (2010-11-07)
  [3031] Get all your ducks in a row ... and they may turn into swans - (2010-11-06)
  [3017] Seventh day traveller on the six day railway - (2010-10-27)
  [3006] Santa announcement, 5th December 2010, Melksham - (2010-10-20)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2955] Melksham Railway Station - new information point - (2010-09-13)
  [2954] Railway meetings, trips and meetups this autumn - (2010-09-12)
  [2931] Syncronise - software, trains, and buses. Please! - (2010-08-22)
  [2930] Walk - Tilehurst to Pangborne - (2010-08-21)
  [2919] London to Calne, Corsham, Melksham, Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham by public Transport - (2010-08-13)
  [2908] How Green is my train? - (2010-08-07)
  [2901] Ambassador or Anorak? - (2010-08-03)
  [2855] Train Services - Melksham to Bath and Bristol (and airport) - (2010-07-05)
  [2808] From home to Nurnberg - journey pictures - (2010-06-13)
  [2696] Garlic bread without garlic - (2010-03-27)
  [2678] Reaching out to the community - a good case for support - (2010-03-15)
  [2664] Oliver Cromwell at Bristol Temple Meads - (2010-03-06)
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  [2658] Save the Train - a significant change in approach - (2010-03-03)
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  [2627] Saturdays out from Melksham - to Oxford, to Didcot or to Swindon - (2010-02-07)
  [2626] On Malachite Green - (2010-02-06)
  [2568] Forums for your Melksham and open source discussions - (2010-01-09)
  [2557] Rail Campaign - response to core consultation - (2009-12-31)
  [2556] Railway Station Survey - please complete today or tomorrow - (2009-12-30)
  [2533] Five guests, three groups, one car - (2009-12-11)
  [2529] Santa Special, 2009 - (2009-12-06)
  [2522] Integrated public Transport - what could be done for Melksham - (2009-12-01)
  [2513] Wiltshire Council purchases Melksham Station Land - (2009-11-26)
  [2511] The story of the railway land at Melksham Station - (2009-11-24)
  [2486] Santa Special - Trowbridge and Melksham to Swindon - (2009-10-31)
  [2477] By train ... - (2009-10-25)
  [2473] Exploring Old Railways - (2009-10-24)
  [2457] Railway Arithmetic - (2009-10-16)
  [2438] Listening to The Minister - (2009-10-05)
  [2395] From Lymington by train - last of the slammers - (2009-09-05)
  [2391] Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy - Draft for Consultation - (2009-09-02)
  [2372] Public Transport from (and to) Melksham on Sundays - (2009-08-23)
  [2328] Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town - (2009-08-08)
  [2318] For Lua Programmers AND for Town Planners - (2009-08-02)
  [2268] Westbury Bypass Refused - looking forward - (2009-07-04)
  [2133] Bigger and better this year! - (2009-04-20)
  [2057] Train and Coach fares from London (and airports) to Melksham - (2009-02-26)
  [2042] Wiltshire Rail Service Update - (2009-02-15)
  [2026] Melksham Climate Friendly Group - (2009-02-05)
  [2024] Carry on Training - in spite of the weather - (2009-02-03)
  [1999] How low can you sink? - (2009-01-17)
  [1966] Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco - (2008-12-29)
  [1965] How much does a train service actually cost - (2008-12-29)
  [1964] Why hasnt the fiasco been put right - (2008-12-29)
  [1905] A Gold Star for First Great Western Customer Service - (2008-11-24)
  [1858] Camera with night vision, youth with no vision - (2008-10-28)
  [1848] 30th November - Santa Trip from Melksham - (2008-10-19)
  [1757] Preserved railways - struggling to the future? - (2008-08-17)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1708] A Train Service Update for Melksham Party in the Park - (2008-07-13)
  [1616] Not daring to be an anorak - (2008-04-19)
  [1567] Melksham - Swindon. Train v Bus v Car - (2008-03-07)
  [1558] Getting somewhere with the train service - (2008-02-28)
  [1530] Railway Acronyms and Abbreviations - (2008-02-03)
  [1452] Santa on the train to Melksham - (2007-12-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1424] Closer than you think - the next step - (2007-11-08)
  [1382] First Great Western - information for customers - (2007-10-07)
  [1358] Look forward with a new broom - Wiltshire Train Service - (2007-09-19)
  [1314] Business travel by train in the USA - (2007-08-22)
  [1303] Heading Upstate New York - (2007-08-14)
  [1291] Day trip to Weymouth - (2007-08-05)
  [1274] Radio coverage for railway issues - (2007-07-23)
  [1273] Melksham or Weymouth? Meal or day out? - (2007-07-23)
  [1228] Some progress on the train campaign - (2007-06-10)
  [1139] Overcrowded trains around Bristol - (2007-04-08)
  [1097] Train and business balls all in the air! - (2007-03-02)
  [1093] Wiltshire Train - can YOU come on 5th March? - (2007-02-25)
  [1076] Save the Train - an update - (2007-02-12)
  [1069] Rail trouble forced me to buy hotel - (2007-02-07)
  [1063] Bradford-on-Avon - 150 years of passenger trains - (2007-02-03)
  [1045] Bang! Train campaign hits home - (2007-01-19)
  [1044] Call for appropriate train services - Swindon, Bristol, Bath, West Wilts, Severn Beach etc - (2007-01-18)
  [1033] Empty at Easleigh, Missing at Melksham, Overflowing at Oldfield - (2007-01-14)
  [976] Santa at the station - (2006-12-09)
  [974] The last commuter train through Melksham - (2006-12-09)
  [952] Coming from London to Melksham by train for a course - (2006-11-28)
  [877] Yes, but what do we do now?? - (2006-09-24)
  [814] Melksham Railway Calendar 2007 - (2006-07-25)
  [803] Not shouting - (2006-07-16)
  [790] Shadow Transport Minister to visit Melksham - (2006-07-02)
  [697] For any North and West Wilts and Swindon Readers - (2006-04-23)
  [688] Are you free on Friday evening? - (2006-04-18)
  [648] West Wilts Railway Users Group and trains to Lacock - (2006-03-16)
  [634] Real chance to make a difference - (2006-03-05)
  [632] Moral dilemma - (2006-03-04)
  [527] Greater Western Franchise Awarded - (2005-12-13)
  [524] Santa comes to Melksham - (2005-12-11)
  [521] Proof needed? Please just use common sense! - (2005-12-08)
  [488] Looking for railway groups and users - Swindon, Salisbury, Southampton - (2005-11-06)
  [486] Rail services under threat - Swindon, Melksham ... and Newquay and Bicester too - (2005-11-05)
  [447] Tomorrow's meeting. - (2005-09-19)
  [434] Through public transport connection, Chippenham to Salisbury, to cease - (2005-09-02)
  [428] Swindon - Chippenham - Melksham - Trowbridge - Westbury train service - (2005-08-29)
  [154] Railway train service, Melksham station - (2004-12-17)


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