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Author Topic: Heart of Wessex Timetable leaflets - Community Rail Partnership changes?  (Read 1725 times)
WSW Frome
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« on: May 24, 2019, 02:28:54 pm »

In my volunteer role at the "Discover Frome" (tourist) Information Point I noted today the lack of new Heart of Wessex timetable leaflets. Attempts have been made to secure these but I now suspect they will not be published now or "in future?" The HoW website does not have the pdf of any current version.

If this is true then I assume this is because of changes in the Community R.P. set up, especially locally. HoW now lacks a primary responsible person.

The leaflets were a popular item and regarded as useful and handy locally. I have regularly commented (including to key players) that they did not include the complete service to/from Frome. They showed only the BRI/WSB - WEY trains (plus some of the SWR extras) but none of the FRO starters/terminators.

Does anyone have further information on HoW and CRP developments?
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 02:54:22 pm »

Does anyone have further information on HoW and CRP developments?

I'm pretty sure that the issues you describe follow from

I do have *some* follow up which I will write up this evening and follow up on the parallel thread in "the rumour mill" on the basis that what I have is from limited sources and through several layers so may not be accurate enough for me to state in public.

I suspect that Catherine Phillips, who retired a few months back now, was the powerhouse behind these leaflets and there could be something of an issue as the baton on publicity is passed on to someone else.  Then there's the question of whether any new broom feels that it's best to carry on with these flyers as they were or do something else.    They have been an utterly excellent tool for the most part (I agree with your comments about them only including whole-route trains), but just because something was an excellent tool in the past doesn't confirm that it' automatically the best tool for the future.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 08:18:55 am »

Does anyone have further information on HoW and CRP developments?

Heart of Wessex line timetable / leaflet... not currently / easily available for the new (summer) timetable according to WSW Frome, and that's in a role at a tourist information point.  And he suggests why that might be.

Organisations tend to be what I call "default closed" where information is only published where necessary, and "default open" where information is held back only where for commercial or other reasons it should not be public. I would describe this forum as "default open" - where data / threads about just about anything, including forum plans and software and organisation stuff are only put into our restricted areas (Frequent Posters, Rumour Mill, And Also, Behind the Counter and Stock Room) with good reason, such as allowing members to share details they don't want to be public.  "How Stuff Works" for Transport Scholars doesn't quite fit the model - it restricted to any poster who applies, and is only none-public to help readers filter out deep technical stuff unless they want to read it. But this forum is the exception rather than the rule in selecting its default; most organisations (and that includes the council lead ones, which all three CRPs that include Westbury) now are work "default closed".

So - I don't know beyond rumours and reading evidence where Heart of Wessex is headed. I do know (and will tell you in my "default open" mode) that I invited them to send us some literature for Community Rail in the City and they were one of only three invitees who didn't reply; others sent literature, or wished us luck but had nothing they felt would be appropriate. And (for the sake of completeness) we had one response that I felt was a brush off.  As embers who attended / helped / popped by are aware, the whole thing worked out pretty well and if we had had any more, we would have overflowed our booth!  There was a danger of diluting the message if we had too much anyway, so it was just about perfect.  Had literature and volunteers flooded in from just about everyone, we were set up / able to add another table to the exhibit anyway.

Other evidence points to changes at / around the Heart of Wessex. A key power base (if you call it that) has been Westbury - where it switches from being a shared service on the line from Bristol (shared with Severnside, and with Cardiff - Portsmouth regional trains) to a much more isolated / rural / country line (not tally so,I would admit). And it's a major junction.  When I applied for and eventually gained ACoRP membership for TransWilts, there was concern that it would usurp the position of the other CRPs at Trowbridge and Westbury, to the extent that our first application was rejected; we (I happily) committed us to being very much a junior partner at those places.  I note this appears to have changed, with the new TransWilts annual report showing both Trowbridge and Westbury Stations as their community rail stations, and with TransWilts making and succeeding with a CCIF bid for Westbury station where in the past that would have been very much a Heart of Wessex role.

Community Rail has and is changing. Rather than "bringing life to local lines" which it has successfully done over many years, it's now moved on to the four key pillars of * providing a voice for the community * promoting sustainable, healthy and accessible travel * bringing communities together, supporting diversity & inclusion * supporting social and economic development. You could well suggest that the old intent remains strongly in the second of those, but it's no longer the "be all and end all" and there may now be less of a priority on specialist marketing materials - especially for lines / services on which it has been so successful, and rail industry service improvements have been so slow, that there's now something of an overcrowding rather than an undercrowding issue.  The change also moves community rail organisations from "designation" of lines or services to "accreditation" where the coverage tends to be much more area than line / service based.

When I started writing this, I planned to post it in the "Rumour Mill" section ( at a re-opened )  - one of our limited boards, designed to avoid unsubstantiated data out of the search engines and taken as definite.  However, the various jigsaw pieces start falling into place with regard the direction that Community Rail in Wessex is headed, and provides you (the reader) with evidence which you can use to judge for yourself on future leaflet availability.  So - "default open" ... and I point you also to .

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
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