A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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Not treading water, but not risking the ship for a 0.5th of tar either

I'll only really believe that we have additional trains on the TransWilts line when the first one of them takes the crossover at Trowbridge and heads onto the single track towards Chippenham, and I'm keeping the morning on Sunday, 8th December 2013 free to be there to witness it in person.

You may say I'm a cynic to be so disbelieveing for so long, but that's no bad thing. A huge amount of work has been done, trains appear in timetables, staff being trained, marketing preparations made, financial arrangements in place, rolling stock agreed and much more. And the support is enormous - almost universal. However, there is a handful of final steps to go through / be signed off on, and until the final contractual papers are delivered and registered, there's an element of change that, somewhere, a heart could rule a head if someone's heart isn't totally in it - perhaps because their heart hasn't been there, or perhaps because they feel that the supporters are usurping their territory, or are getting too big for their boots. You may say I'm a cynic suggesting this, but it has been flagged up to me a couple of times in the last few days, and it's probably wise to take a less visible (and perhaps less effective) stance on some of the ancillary things around the probable new service.

First Great Western won the new franchise of 3rd October, and it starts on 13th. There were certain discussions that could not proceed to finality until the award, and there are other doors which I understand cannot be opened until the new franchise has actually started. There's an offer and signoff cycle from First Great Western to Wiltshire Council that was only able to start on franchise award, and should conclude on 22nd, and it's my understanding that there's they a requirement that the agreement be registered for the service to be allowed to run. That's not a process that I'm familiar with, but I am aware that such registrations can get pedantically caught up... witness (for example) the few days gap in services next month in some bus service around Bristol as a new operator steps into the breach where another has pulled out - see [here] - and the new operator didn't know (so couldn't register the new service) the statutory 56 days ahead.

I'm also very much aware that where we have been ploughing a lone furrow on some aspects, there are now professionals rather than community amateurs doing the jobs. They're highly trained experts, and we can help them best (and annoy them least!) by letting them get on with it but at the same time by filling in best where we can help, and offering them local information and intelligence where that might have a significant effect on what they might do.

So - I'm keeping the morning of 8th December clear. I've had clearance in the last few days to let Santa travel on the 17:30 from Melksham that day (it's a train which is already running), and I've been invited to a couple of meetings that are being set up in relations to (firstly) an official launch and marketing if the new service happens and (secondly) alternative bus arrangements which, I fear, will be a New Year start at best considering the 56 day issue. When an official launch would be, I don't know. Personal logic says "on the day the service starts, if it does". Wiser council may well come up with a different date which is more effective for the media, and for the launch of a campaign of information that's not going to get disrupted by the holiday season.
(written 2013-10-06, updated 2013-10-12)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z950 - Purely Personal
  [1014] Christmas Season Piccies - (2006-12-30)
  [1051] Too busy to blog it - but it's great (mostly) - (2007-01-24)
  [2195] A two day gap - first time in five years? - (2009-05-24)
  [2547] The great thing about snow .... - (2009-12-23)
  [2698] Ruth Davis, 1916 - 2010 - (2010-03-28)
  [2886] Congratulations, Kimberly - (2010-07-25)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [3034] Birth Notice - Aeryn Cassandra Ellis - (2010-11-07)
  [3037] Looking back and forward personally - 6 years each way - (2010-11-08)
  [3055] Zyliana Kyrei Cox - (2010-11-16)
  [3108] My First Christmas - (2010-12-26)
  [3224] Melksham Campus - a win / win opportunity, but a severely lacking decision process - (2011-03-31)
  [3240] Melksham Town Council - vacancy in the Spa Ward - (2011-04-10)
  [3283] The juggler - (2011-05-08)
  [3298] Quiet Monday in - (2011-05-23)
  [3413] If its Sunday, must it be Weymouth? - (2011-08-30)
  [3450] A threat in the post? Poor marketing practise from Smiletrain? - (2011-09-19)
  [3511] Melksham has a heart - have your picture taken and support the defibrillator appeal - (2011-11-06)
  [3556] Aeryn at 1 - (2011-12-19)
  [3566] Initial thoughts - response to GW Rail Franchise Consultation for Wiltshire - (2011-12-31)
  [3602] Emerging proposals for land to the east of Spa Road, Melksham - (2012-02-03)
  [3711] Kiss - (2012-04-28)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [4111] Zigzag bus - forward for the future, or decaying service? - (2013-06-09)
  [4157] Wedding Photos - Kim Ellis to Kyle Londors, 22nd August 2013 - (2013-08-23)
  [4165] Improving travel advise information in Wiltshire - (2013-09-06)
  [4201] Looking to the future at Melksham Station - (2013-10-26)
  [4221] Celebration of the fruits of LSTF, and of the people who have helped and are helping - (2013-12-15)
  [4235] Sharing my personal best of 2013 - (2013-12-31)
  [4275] Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies - (2014-05-08)
  [4281] A different vision for the future - (2014-07-09)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4308] What can you and I learn from online quizzes? - (2014-09-27)
  [4476] Upcoming election - Chippenham Constituency - the major candidates compared - (2015-04-29)
  [4485] Misusing statistics? - the seedy side of election campaigning - (2015-05-04)
  [4489] Election results - what if we had a party list system? - (2015-05-08)
  [4600] A big change in August - (2015-12-25)
  [4625] Where does Wiltshire bus subsidy money come from? - (2016-01-19)
  [4657] Rumours of bus changes by First in Wiltshire - what we know and suspect - (2016-03-01)
  [4658] The end of competition on a bus route - the effects from then end of the 234 - (2016-03-02)
  [4669] Buses - how did we get into the situation we are in? - (2016-04-02)
  [4698] Lisa writes - on the referendum vote today - (2016-06-23)
  [4714] The technical article feed continues - personal updates more proactive on Facebook now! - (2016-10-30)
  [4728] Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - (2016-11-23)
  [4734] Thoughts on the new Blackmore Ward of Melksham Without Parish - (2017-02-22)
  [4735] Revisiting - should I stand for Melksham Without Parish Council in May? - (2017-02-24)
  [4737] Why you should vote for Lisa in Melksham Central - (2017-05-01)
  [4739] A year of changes for Lisa and Graham Ellis, and Well House - (2017-05-27)
  [4756] Learning how to be a more effective community partner - (2017-07-15)
  [4759] Sale of effects and furniture - 12th and 13th August 2017 - (2017-07-25)
  [4761] Looking forward to the autumn. - (2017-08-19)
  [4767] Some thoughts on 2017, and looking forward to 2018 - (2017-12-31)

Back to
Melksham to Bath and Zigzag buses - at a turning point?
Previous and next
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Extended Weekend - but not a quiet one!
Some other Articles
Getting people to and from Melksham Station - not 20 but 700 times a day
A radical proposal - a cheap and effective way to provide home to city commuter transport
Who are we - Lisa, Graham, Gypsy and Billy
Extended Weekend - but not a quiet one!
Not treading water, but not risking the ship for a 0.5th of tar either
Melksham to Bath and Zigzag buses - at a turning point?
TransWilts Trains - running a successful campaign talk
A fond memory
Reaching a hotel standard where 99% of guests would return - and maintaining that standard
Welcome to Salford and Oldham
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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