Trivia: Large towns in UK with no railway station

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daodao

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What a stupid decision that was. I don;t agree with converting heavy rail to light rail.

Great if you want to travel locally, rubbish if you want to travel further afield.
There is now a tram every 6 minutes from Oldham town centre to Manchester, where connections can be made to heavy rail services. This compares with the previous heavy rail service from the poorly sited Mumps station to M/c Victoria only, every 30 minutes.

Conversion of heavy rail to light rail is an excellent way to reduce costs, improve frequency and increase penetration of urban centres. Other heavy rail lines in the M/c area should be converted to light rail, in particular the lines to Glossop/Hadfield and Marple Rose Hill via Bredbury.
 

Old Yard Dog

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Lots of small towns in North Wales like Mold, Ruthin, Corwen, Denbigh, Caernarfon, Holywell and Llangefni have no national rail stations.
 
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A bit late but I'm very familiar with the plan - it came up as an issue in a council by-election there last year. I suspect it will happen eventually due to the rapid population growth (especially in Grove). However the new station would have patching issues and is inconvenient for Wantage in particular - the old station was called Wantage Road as you often found for stations a long way out of town. The town used to have a tramway for the connection between the centre and station, but now there is just a half hourly bus. Presumably though much of its use would be drivers from Faringdon, Shrivenham, and the like, who currently use Swindon or Didcot.
Surely the Thames Travel X2 would be extended to turn there instead of Wantage marketplace to increase the frequency of bus routes to the station. Or the X2 could be merged with the 67,extended to Swindon at the Faringdon end and have a half-hourly frequency the whole way Swindon-Wallingford. It would be very profitable as a station and the feeder bus service because ,as you said, it would save people having to drive all the way to Didcot and/or Swindon for commuting further afield. Reopening Steventon could have a similar purpose for Harwell Campus.
 

NorthOxonian

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Surely the Thames Travel X2 would be extended to turn there instead of Wantage marketplace to increase the frequency of bus routes to the station. Or the X2 could be merged with the 67,extended to Swindon at the Faringdon end and have a half-hourly frequency the whole way Swindon-Wallingford. It would be very profitable as a station and the feeder bus service because ,as you said, it would save people having to drive all the way to Didcot and/or Swindon for commuting further afield. Reopening Steventon could have a similar purpose for Harwell Campus.
Certainly if there was a station there bus routes would change, and I could see Thames Travel extending the current X32 fro Wantage down (the X2 goes to Wallingford and has decent local use from experience). But the 67 is a real basket case - since it's ran by Thames Travel in the heart of Stagecoach territory, through ticketing is awful and travel between Wantage and Swindon is difficult. You could maybe run an hourly service: Wantage Road Station - Grove - Wantage - Stanford - Faringdon - Shrivenham - Swindon. If demand exists, then similar to the 66/S6 you could expand the service gradually.

In a fantasy world, I'd reopen Steventon, Wootton Bassett*, and Shrivenham, along with a few local stations in Swindon (Toothill/Bridgemead/Stratton), and perhaps a park and ride near M4 J16. Then you could have local services running between Wootton Bassett or Chippenham and Oxford or Reading, as a sort of Swindon/White Horse Cross Rail. The cost would be high (though given the rapid growth in Swindon and Oxfordshire BCR wouldn't be dire), but the true problem would be paths.

* (Royal) Wootton Bassett isn't the biggest of towns, but it must be one of the larger places without a station to have not only a railway running past, but a major junction too!
 

Djgr

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Newcastle-under-Lyme. I know it's near Stoke, but it's still a town of 70k+ people with zero rail transport.
And working near there I can see that this causes a massive image problem.

Basically if a town doesn't have a railway station it's as if it doesn't exist.
 

stj

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And working near there I can see that this causes a massive image problem.

Basically if a town doesn't have a railway station it's as if it doesn't exist.
Fleetwood,Lancashire has the tram to Blackpool but many blame the loss of the BR service on the towns decline.
 

Djgr

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Fleetwood,Lancashire has the tram to Blackpool but many blame the loss of the BR service on the towns decline.
I always feel a bit sorry for those whose services were lost at the tail end of the Beeching cuts (say 1968 onwards), because a high proportion of these were really stupid e.g. Fleetwood, Colne-Skipton, Hunstanton, Grimsby-Louth-Firsby
 

Ken H

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Alcester (Warwickshire), Pershore (Pershore station is in Pinvin some way away)

Someone mentioned Otley above with a ?. Otley does not have a station, its railway is now a bypass. Bus connection to Menston.

Ambleside, Keswick, Wetherby, Ashbourne, Tewkesbury (or does Ashchurch count)
 

SoccerHQ

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Cirencester, 20k but nearest main station is Stroud and Kemble. Can even get a hourly bus to Cheltenham and Swindon although both take good 50 minutes.
 

70014IronDuke

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... Shutting a railway station as a new town gets going is daft, ... .
Are you calling the various planning deparments that worked on Milton Keynes, along with Mrs Barbara Castle, 'daft'?

(Plans for MK were announced before Oxford - Bletchley-Cambridge was set for closure - entirely - on Dec 31, 1967. Bletchley-Bedford only survived by a freak accident.)
 

NorthOxonian

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The thing is, a lot of these issues could be somewhat mitigated if there was proper through ticketing with high quality bus services and marketing. There are many towns which will probably never justify reopening a rail line for whatever reason, for example Abingdon. But if you had TVMs at the main bus stop in Abingdon, which sold the appropriate through tickets, along with guarantees on bus connections and delay repay, you could mitigate the lack of a service. It would require a joined-up approach, but would be far cheaper than rebuilding lines which are often built on.
 
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There is now a tram every 6 minutes from Oldham town centre to Manchester, where connections can be made to heavy rail services. This compares with the previous heavy rail service from the poorly sited Mumps station to M/c Victoria only, every 30 minutes.

Conversion of heavy rail to light rail is an excellent way to reduce costs, improve frequency and increase penetration of urban centres. Other heavy rail lines in the M/c area should be converted to light rail, in particular the lines to Glossop/Hadfield and Marple Rose Hill via Bredbury.
Oldham mumps had a 15 minute frequency throughout the day. Trains continued throughout the north of Manchester not just Victoria.
 

6Gman

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Newcastle-under-Lyme. I know it's near Stoke, but it's still a town of 70k+ people with zero rail transport.
The problem with these threads is that people don't define the terms at the outset.

The station in the town of Newcastle-u-L closed. But how to define the "town" ?

There is however a railway station within the Borough of Newcastle which is still open.

Though many people would struggle to realise it's in the borough.
 

yorksrob

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I always feel a bit sorry for those whose services were lost at the tail end of the Beeching cuts (say 1968 onwards), because a high proportion of these were really stupid e.g. Fleetwood, Colne-Skipton, Hunstanton, Grimsby-Louth-Firsby
Very true indeed. Many of the worst happenned in this period.
 

yorksrob

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Cirencester, 20k but nearest main station is Stroud and Kemble. Can even get a hourly bus to Cheltenham and Swindon although both take good 50 minutes.
I read an article in "Backtrack" recently that reported that the railbus from Kemble was often full and standing in its last years !
 

Dr_Paul

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Are you calling the various planning deparments that worked on Milton Keynes, along with Mrs Barbara Castle, 'daft'? (Plans for MK were announced before Oxford - Bletchley-Cambridge was set for closure - entirely - on Dec 31, 1967. Bletchley-Bedford only survived by a freak accident.)
Well, it's a bit daft to remove public transport facilities to a place which is going to be developed from a small town into a big one, especially when it is a useful railway line connecting several important places. There's a lack here of what's these days called 'joined-up thinking'. Proposing to close the Oxford to Cambridge line after planning for the new town development of Milton Keynes really does show badly coordinated official policy. Having a big new town on that line would have helped develop it, by putting on it a fourth major town, and one with an interchange with the West Coast Main Line to boot.
 

70014IronDuke

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Well, it's a bit daft to remove public transport facilities to a place which is going to be developed from a small town into a big one, especially when it is a useful railway line connecting several important places. There's a lack here of what's these days called 'joined-up thinking'. Proposing to close the Oxford to Cambridge line after planning for the new town development of Milton Keynes really does show badly coordinated official policy. Having a big new town on that line would have helped develop it, by putting on it a fourth major town, and one with an interchange with the West Coast Main Line to boot.
Erm.... <cough> I was trying to inject a little satire into the thread.

EDIT Let me be clear: I thought at that time that it was daft and short-sighted to close what is now known as the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge, especially since so many other east-west branch linking routes had been closed in the previous six years or so in the 100 miles between London and the Brum-Leicester-Peterboro line.

But to do so when the government was actually planning a major new city at Milton Keynes, just north of the line, appeared to 15-year old me to be absolutly bonkers.
 
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cheese

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The problem with these threads is that people don't define the terms at the outset.

The station in the town of Newcastle-u-L closed. But how to define the "town" ?

There is however a railway station within the Borough of Newcastle which is still open.

Though many people would struggle to realise it's in the borough.
Yes, but that's Kidsgrove station. Decidedly not the same town.
 

vlad

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The station in the town of Newcastle-u-L closed.

There is however a railway station within the Borough of Newcastle which is still open.
True.

You can use the same argument to say there's a station in Dudley MB, Oldham MB, Sunderland MB (for Washington), etc.
 

cheese

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And it's a deeply unhelpful argument: regardless of council boundaries, we're ultimately still a decently large town in our own right with no rail connections (and increasingly few decent bus connections).
 

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