Loop needed more than office
PUBLISHED: 02:01 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 15 June 2010
While an intelligent and considered debate about the future of Axminster's railway station is to be welcomed, the responses of both the Mayor of Axminster and Councillor Jeffery appear to be more concerned with emotive point-scoring than constructive disc
While an intelligent and considered debate about the future of Axminster's railway station is to be welcomed, the responses of both the Mayor of Axminster and Councillor Jeffery appear to be more concerned with emotive point-scoring than constructive discussion.The decision to reduce the hours of the booking office is neither "perverse" nor "beggars belief", as they have claimed, but it is a sensible operational decision to cut costs. The suggestion that elderly people are less likely to be able to use an automatic vending machine is at best churlish and at worst offensive: AVMs have been in operation across Europe for many years without restricting OAPs freedom to travel.Their plan to build a second platform at Axminister is an expensive diversion, adding little benefit for considerable cost: it will guarantee no additional trains, make travel more inconvenient and, if the examples of Pinhoe and Honiton are noted, neither increase use nor develop the station environment.As a regular user of the line, I would regard investment in double tracking as far more viable and helpful, especially at Axminster and Tisbury - such as, at the Axminster end, a double track to be extended from Chard Junction to just east of Axminster station with a long loop from west of the station. This would provide more flexibility for timetabling and help facilitate a regular, even hourly service.This would benefit both local and regional railway users, and perhaps could be partially financed by the saving made through reduced office manning and not pursuing plans for an additional platform. Rather than posturing locally, planners would do well to consider the wider picture. Ken Vile The CroftGoldsmith Lane All Saints
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