Transition Marlborough reply to David Chandler's Marlborough News Online column 'The Railway in Marlborough'

Written by John Yates on .

 

Sirs,

David Chandler’s feature this week raises some interesting points.  Transition Marlborough is in favour of restoring Marlborough’s link into the railway network.  Our proposals are set out in the “Marlborough Rail Link – Key Plan” [see below] and our report “A Railway Line to Marlborough – an outline case” [which be accessed from this site.]

Responding to the points David raises:

1    Support for the scheme is rather wider than David suggests.  Over 1,000 people responded to our six week consultation last year.  All but two were in support.

2    Growth in demand for transport has been considerable since David’s childhood.  We estimate that the demand for journeys from a new Marlborough station is around 400 return trips per day, not the “few dozen” he suggests.  

3    Few people find the Bedwyn bus link satisfactory.  The first bus doesn’t get to Bedwyn until 10.30am, the timetable is limited and there are inevitable problems of coping with unscheduled delays to train or bus.

4    A new station in Marlborough would indeed require a car-park.  However many travellers will walk, cycle or take the bus to get to the station.  Overall, the scheme will reduce car journeys.  

5    The Department for Transport evaluates the economic viability of a scheme as a Benefit-to-Cost Ratio.  This takes account of capital and running costs and wider community benefits as well as projected fare revenue.  Our initial assessment is that the Marlborough Rail Link has a favourable BCR.  A full feasibility study by the DfT’s planning consultants is the next step.  We are currently seeking funding from Wiltshire Council for this.

Marlborough is growing, but the bus network is shrinking.  Non-car-users are neglected.   The elderly find it harder to get about.  Young people are unable to take up apprenticeships.  

The County have channelled funds into the TransWilts railway line serving Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham, Chippenham and Swindon.  What are they doing for Marlborough?


John Yates
Transition Marlborough – Transport Group

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