I would like to reply to the comments made by John Yates of Transition Marlborough regarding my article on Marlborough’s railway.
I wasn’t basing my objections to Transition Marlborough’s proposal on the fact that over fifty years ago the railway in Marlborough was not viable.
I was basing my objections on some of the over optimistic forecasts of passenger numbers, the enormous cost of the scheme and the very large car park that would be required at the station.
Where are four hundred passengers, many of them walking and cycling, going to come from ?
There are not this number travelling at the moment from Bedwyn and practically all them drive to the station with a few on the bus and none (that I have noticed) cycling. Even if Transition Marlborough’s very optimistic passenger figure is accepted the project would cost a staggering £75,000 per passenger.
A thousand people might have signed a petition: several hundred signed a petition to keep the early bus to Bedwyn but not one of these signatories then used the bus which is why it was withdrawn.
My other major objection is that based on Transition’s figures there would have to be an enormous car park on the approach to the town and it would be more like Didcot with the numbers being suggested.
For a tiny fraction of the cost of the Transition scheme there could be a good car park provided at Bedwyn (which should aim to give some financial benefit to the village) and a better bus service which must be used by those people who demand it be kept.
The other expenditure that Transition Marlborough are demanding is from the County Council for a feasibility study by the DfT. I suggest that no public money should be spent on this ridiculous scheme.
PS : Historical note: Trowbridge is the County Town of Wiltshire because in the late 1800’s it had the best rail link to Swindon. There were a large number of County Councillors from Swindon who made this demand. Trowbridge won out over Devizes (more central) and Salisbury (more historic).