As a local resident and occasional train user, the correspondence carried on over the last few weeks relating to the possible creation of a train link between Marlborough and Bedwyn, strikes me as bordering on the surreal.
We have Mr Chandler waving numbers around seemingly based on the premise that every passenger will only travel once, lavishing us with fascinating but perhaps not strictly relevant historical detail, comparing us with Didcot (which was nothing remotely like Marlborough the last time I was there; do we have a giant power station and a major railway junction here?) and apparently claiming to have the last word on the situation generally with his latest letter: “Closing Lines”. (And it would appear also claiming that those who disagree with him are selfish).
Then we have Mrs Ashley agreeing with him on account of his undeniable historical knowledge and saying she has seen an empty bus! Well, of course it was empty. The schedule is ridiculous and unreliable and as one who has more than once stood in the High Street waiting for a non-arriving promised bus and consequently missed a train, I for one will sadly not rely on the buses again. What on earth can be expected?
She also says that a peak-hour minibus might be the answer. Run by whom, exactly? The bus company that cannot provide a proper service already, perhaps.
The new railway scheme may or not be practical, but to damn it on such ridiculous terms is surely inappropriate.
Incidentally, I personally was never asked my intentions in the survey by Transition Marlborough, but had I been I would unquestionably have replied that Yes I would use the service, Yes I would go up to London far more often for both business and pleasure, Yes I would walk to the station, No I would not require a car park and Yes I think it would benefit the Town enormously.
Presumably that makes it 401 people who would use the trains from Marlborough?