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Mallory Place, The Spa, Wellington Drive, Melksham - a Christmas present for you

I noticed yesterday - Christmas day - a new bus stop. In "My Back Yard" ... as in the saying "NIMBY" - not in my back yard. THANK YOU, Santa. Complete surprise - not something that (to my knowledge) anyone's been campaigning actively for or even thought about. But when you do think about it, it makes huge sense.

First changed their routes 271 and 272 about six months ago, to turn a double run through a maze of suburban roads at the end of the route into a loop - running along the main road instead, and clawing back time on the schedule to add in a service to another part of town that's relatively car-sparse. It was a sensible change, and that's something that had been suggested (more or less) by the local community. And the new bus stop is on that main road where buses now pass.

Mallory Place is a recent development of around 15 to 20 homes, opening out onto the main road right across from the bus stop. Although it's in the Bowerhill quarter, it has no direct access into Bowerhill and the new stop brings them buses around a quarter of a mile closer.

Wellington Drive - and just off it Wellington Square - are about 100 yards up the road, with Wellington Drive being the old entrance to Bowerhill from the days that it was RAF Melksham. So it's the oldest housing in that area, with the RAF properties largely in private hands now. There is good foot access into Bowerhill this way, but the old road is barriered and resident driving out have to go into the main housing area and then around via Halifax Road. I'm not sure f they've noticed the bus now passing the end of their street.

The Spa ... across the road from Bowerhill ... at the north end, a strip development from the first half of the last century along what is now the 'old road'. That's followed by the historic lodging houses from around 200 years ago. Then - at the southern end - there's a community of old buildings (most now is split occupancy) and modern bungalows, hidden in the trees for the most part, which I would describe as "Bohemian". Personally, we live in the southernmost of the lodging houses, and have path access to the Bohemian section, with which we feel very much at ease.

The new stop also provides a convenient getting off point for visitors to Melksham Oak school during the day - the school is a few hundred yards further on, just past where the bus turns into the Bowerhill housing area. At school times, services run to the school, but during the day...

Individually, I suspect that none of these four areas / uses would merit a bus stop. Together, it makes huge sense. There are a number of us of a sustainable nature in The Spa (which is quite a long stretch, with the north section already served by a bus stop at the top. Mallory Place is now well established, so I would suspect that initial bus trips will be few, but with the nature of the area they may build up over time. Families and older folks in Wellington Drive may also benefit fairly soon, persuading mum and dad to tell the teenagers to take the bus rather than getting the car out.

On Monday to Friday, buses call at 06:58, 07:50, 09:15, hourly to 15:15, 16:12 and 17:20. All serve Melksham Town Centre (10 minutes) and Bath (about an hour). Later buses back from Bath at 17:25, 18:25, 20:00 and 23:20 will drop you off at the top of The Spa - about 400 yards from the new stop.

On Saturdays, buses call at 07:15 and hourly to 17:15. Later buses back from Bath at 17:25, 18:25, 20:00 and 23:20 will drop you off at the top of The Spa - about 400 yards from the new stop.

Sorry - no Sunday service, but there are buses from The Spa to Melksham centre and Bath at 10:24 and every 2 hours to 18:24, returning from Bath at 10:00 and every 2 hours to 18:00.


And don't forget ;-) ... this section of road has footpath and cycleway as well as the roadway itself - so it makes for an excellent sustainable way from much of Bowerhill into Melksham. In fact I'm delighted to say that - already - more individual journeys are made walking and cycling along The Spa than driving.
(written 2013-12-26, updated 2013-12-27)

 
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Some other Articles
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Well House Consultants - Public Training Course times for 2014
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Thin end of the wedge - plan to be thicker in 2014
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