7th Feb 2020 - "the future for Melksham Bus Services"

Trains at Melksham, Swindon, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Westbury ....... and connections to over 2,500 stations in Great Britain
Buses ... local, and to Bath, Devizes, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Corsham and Bradford-on-Avon
And for newcomers to our public transport

Trains at Melksham

Buses! Melksham! Future! - 7th February 2020, Meeting, 7 p.m.
at The Canberra Centre, 56 Spa Road, SN12 7NY

Update, August 2020
It has been a very eventful year so far - no only with Coronavirus, but also with bus service changes on the Bath to Melksham and Devizes routes, where First ceased their services at the start of April, and Faresaver stepped in with Wiltshire Council support to provide evening and Sunday services in addition to their daytime buses, which have been rescheduled to provide continued service at a reasonable frequency to all stops on both routes.

All in all, a sensible outcome from the re-arragement earlier in the year, providing services that make sense for operator, council and (last an not least) current and future users. The community was very nervous prior to these changes, bearing in mind that past service re-arrangements have resulted in the loss of all evening buses to and from Trowbridge, and the loss of all but one buses a day to Calne and Marlborough.

Added - 8th February 2020 from 7.2.2020 bus meeting
Slide set for meeting - [[here]]
(This slide set is quite verbsose and offers many stand alone explanations not just bullets)
First Statement: [[here]]
Faresaver Statement: [[here]]
Faresaver 31.1.2020 press release [[here]]
Faresaver 3.2.2020 FAQ [[here]]
Also relevant to meeting
Longer term bus ideas, 1.2020 [[here]]
The way forward and meeting outcomes - to be added by 10.2.2020

Please come back to this page, which we will keep updating through Spring 2020

1st February 2020:

On 28th January 2020, First Bus announced that they will discontinue operation of their D3 bus, which runs from Bath to Melksham and Bowerhill (and extends to Devizes and Urchfont) after end of service on 4th April 2020. On 31st January, Faresaver, who run an X72 service from Bath to Melksham, Devizes and Urchfont, daytime Monday to Saturday, announced that they will look to provide a service amended to cover gaps. Wiltshire Council are looking at the provision of replacement contracts for evening and Sunday service. Both press releases and comment are available at www.passenger.chat

With announcements just made in the last few days, Councils, Bus Operators and Communities are gathering their thoughts and looking to the future provision. On 31st January, our technical team met with Wiltshire council officers and the elected public transport portfolio holder to discuss the ways ahead. As a follow up to this meeting, we will be presenting a short update within the next Melksham Town and Melksham Without meetings. We are also hosting a public meeting - with thanks to Young Melksham for use of their facilities - at 19:00 on Friday, 7th February 2020 at The Canberra Centre at 56, Spa Road, Melksham SN12 7NY.

We won't know the detail of what will be happening from 5th April - but by having a community meeting quickly, our team will be able to fill you in a little more about how the process work and what the likely, possible, and impractical outcomes might be. And we canvas opionions as to what you would like to see. We have already spoken with many players and on Monday (3rd Feb) will be inviting current and potential operators to come along, introduce themselves, and hear from people.

  • We appreciate the meeting time is not ideal for everyone. Please let us know if you need transport help
  • Big THANK YOU to everyone from First and their predecessors for your services over the years - especialy to the local staff who are just as sad at the service loss as we are
  • Big THANK YOU to Faresaver for planning to step in and fill many of the gaps left so quickly
  • and a big THANK YOU to the folks at Wiltshire Council for meeting us to fill us in on what happens now, and to help us all work together for a service that suits the operators, the council and the passengers for the future

Please note that bus schedules may change at 56 formal days notice - and often changes notified do not come to local attention until even closer to the date of the change.

For the next bus departures from the town centre, see [[here]].
The following chart will need updating from April 2020

Web site addresses for each operator

FS Faresaver www.faresaver.co.uk
First First West of England www.firstgroup.com
Frome Frome Bus www.fromebus.co.uk
NatEx National Express www.nationalexpress.com
ADRain AD Raines www.adrainscoaches.com
GWR Great Western Railway www.gwr.com


Heading towards London until June 2024
Heading towards Southampton until June 2024
Rail User Group (West Wilts)
Online Forum (Great Western Coffee Shop)

Times - between towns
Times - town bus
Bus User Group (Option 24/7)

The Melksham [Rail / Transport] User Group and its predecessors have partnered with the train operators over the years to promote growth of services and their use. However, we are embarrassed to promote the current service with its awful reliability record. For regular users who are robust to the issues it is still useful - for newcomers there's a significant risk of their first planned use going wrong, quite apart from the worry beforehand of not knowing if it will run.

Four officers of the group met in December 2022, and we have decided on a hiatus until the spring. We'll maintain insurance and CRN membership; our annual Zoom account runs until mid-year and we will occasionally feed online media and deal with correspondence from it. In the meantime, we also recommend you to the groups linked above.

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