A public meeting is being held tonight to save South Western Railway’s direct train service from Bristol to London Waterloo which is due to cease in December.
Nearly 3,000 people have so far signed a petition after the announcement was made without consultation with rail user groups or local authorities and approved by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
The petition says: “This is a well-used service. No practical alternative is available or offered. It provides the only through trains from London to Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, Oldfield Park and Keynsham. It provides the only through services from Bristol and Bath to South London. It connects to much of the South East. It provides much needed extra capacity.”
The West Wilts Rail Users Group, Railfuture Severnside and others are working together to save the service. Campaigners are asking that the trains continue to run pending consultation and effective ongoing provision.
Graham Ellis, who is organising tonight’s meeting, said: “This has all the hallmarks of a Whitehall decision made on poor and incorrect data, news sneaked out in a publication about something else, and not consulted on. Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, Oldfield Park and Keynsham will be really badly affected, losing all of their direct trains to London.”
Tonight’s public meeting is at Bethesda Baptist Church in Trowbridge and is being streamed on Zoom – the link is https://tinyurl.com/3f2upx5m
Thank you for reading this. The Week In has been publishing local news free of charge for the last 12 years. That won’t change in the future but we are changing the way we run our business. Until now, we have been solely dependent on advertising revenue but we have now set up a cooperative to oversee the future development of the publication. The Week In Community Ltd is a community benefit society, owned not by shareholders but individual members. By becoming a member at £3 a month you will not only be contributing to the future of local interest journalism but will also have a say in the future of the organisation. To find out more, click on the button on the right of the banner at the top of this page if you are on our website or select Premium Membership in My Profile on the app.