The future prosperity of Pewsey, Devizes, Marlborough and the communities that Pewsey Station serves is under threat!
Pewsey train station serves a wide catchment area that encompasses the likes of Marlborough, Devizes and beyond and facilitates 200,000 passenger journeys each year.
Rail services provide a vital lifeline to Pewsey and its surrounding communities. In 2016, the electrification of services to Newbury will be completed. The wiring will not be continued as far as Pewsey and trains from Pewsey will still have to be diesel operated.
The Department For Transport and First Great Western have not clarified what will happen to those trains running from Pewsey to Paddington following the electrification, leaving the future uncertain for the Pewsey service. It is possible that commuters will have to change to busy trains at Newbury and will no longer be able to get a direct train to and from London.
Beyond this inconvenience, any ‘downgrading’ of the services to and from Pewsey will almost certainly have a profound negative effect on the local economy. Even for those who don’t use the train this could have consequences, effecting employment prospects, the value of homes and the vibrancy of communities. Pewsey and its catchment area could become an unattractive home destination for commuters. Businesses who’s survival depends on efficient transport links may have to consider relocation.
We must act now to ensure we are part of the process and protect our vital train services.
The full Department for Transport tender documents can be found here...
Bids were originally to be submitted on the 28th of October but on the 3rd of October the bidding process was paused pending to two independent reviews set up in the wake of the cancellation of the West Coast Mainline franchise. This gives us more time to lobby the government and franchise bidders. But it does not mean the threat to our service has gone away.