Campaign Updates

Dear Sir, We would like to bring your attention to the appalling situation at Pilning railway station on the South Wales Main Line. As you are probably aware, Pilning was a major transport hub for bringing farm produce from the South West to London, and for providing transport links to and from Wales via the Severn tunnel. However, the prosperity of Pilning station suffered a setback with the opening of the Severn Bridge. Years of neglect and decay followed: in 1987 the station’s lighting was dismantled and not replaced, meaning that from then on only services operating during daylight hours could stop at the station. In 2006, with the introduction of the new franchise, Pilning’s service was cut to “one a day in each direction”. In 1990 a local resident Jonathan King started a campaign to bring the service back to the station. His campaign was picked up by other…

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Ongoing. We campaign for service improvements at Pilning Railway Station – platform lighting, more stopping trains and the reinstatement of the footbridge to enable westbound travel. Click here to read the latest update (March 2019).

January 2019. We presented a business case to GWR asking them to stop more Saturday trains at Pilning from May 2019. We also asked Jack Lopresti MP to support our campaign and to write to GWR in the hope that they would consider improving services at Pilning station. (Update April 2019)A letter from received from GWR Managing Director to Jack Lopresti MP: “Due to the low footfall at Pilning, proximity to the well-served Severn Beach station and its position on the South Wales to London main line, we don’t feel it is currently in customer’s best overall interests to make changes to Pilning’s service. […] Located on a two-track railway, line capacity is at premium at Pilning […] We will not be increasing calls at Pilning beyond the commitments set out by the Department for Transport.” #FAIL

Office of Rail and Road published the Annual Station Usage statistics on 11 December 2018. Pilning has shot up from the 3rd least-used station in 2016 to the respectable 2525th place in the charts (out of the total of 2559). There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are no longer in the bottom 10 (or even 30)!

October 2018. We hear Angel Road station in North London is closing in May 2019 when it’s replaced by the new Meridian Water station nearby. This will make its footbridge redundant…..and as it spans overhead lines it would be the right height for Pilning. If you look at AllTheStation’s video filmed there, it’s pretty modern and all-steel, so hopefully it’d be relatively easy to dismantle, move and re-erect it. At present the two staircases face opposite ways, but one would imagine that could be changed pretty easily. (Update 24 January 2019) – Of 27 responses to the DfT consultation, 21 urged that the footbridge be dismantled and re-erected at Pilning station. Please read our press-release here: –ANGELS COULD BRING BACK PILNING STATION FOOTBRIDGE! (Update April 2019) – The following correspondence was received from Network Rail: A message from NR Western Community Relations Manager to Pilning Station Group: “There are no…

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August 2018. We asked GWR to repeat last year’s Sunday Special Service event, by stopping the Cardiff Central to Brighton service at Pilning on September the 2nd. Unfortunately, GWR’s Special Events Team rejected our request without offering a reason. #FAIL

In May 2017 Pilning suddenly disappeared from the “stations column” of the GWR timetables, giving the impression that it had closed completely and that there was no longer a station between Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction. The only reference to Pilning in the whole booklet was in a couple of obscure footnotes in very small print – this made it virtually impossible to see which trains called at the station, and indeed it appeared as if the station had closed altogether. A campaign was duly launched to get the station back on the map and shown properly in the timetable. Whilst Pilning went AWOL in GWR’s booklets, Pilning Station Group created our own Pilning Journey Planners and (with GWR’s permission) distributed them at Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads stations. In May 2018 we were delighted to see Pilning Station back on the map and back in the timetables!  #SUCCESS

February – April 2018. From 6 January 2018, GWR replaced our increasingly-popular 13:34 service with one at 15:34. This is welcome in one way as it allows people two more hours in Bristol (or wherever else we are going) – but we had urged GWR to retain the 13:34 as well. This would enable Pilning passengers to make a later start to our journey than the 08:33, and crucially would allow visitors from elsewhere to arrive on the 13:34 and depart on the 15:34, maybe enjoying a lunchtime drink and a meal at the Plough Inn a few minutes’ walk away. GWR admitted that there was no actual timetabling reason why an extra call could not be provided. However, they are concerned that an extra stopping service would not generate enough interest among passengers, thus making GWR lose any profit they may (or not) be making on Pilning station already.…

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July 2017 – March 2018. We created Pilning Challenges to encourage more passengers to have an adventure and explore the area. The passenger footfall figured doubled year-on-year! #SUCCESS

August 2017. We asked GWR to stop a Sunday Special Service (Cardiff Central to Brighton) at Pilning at 10:45 on August the 20th. The event proved very popular, as the extra service attracted more passengers than the station’s previous year’s footfall. #SUCCESS

November 2016 – June 2017. We promoted Pilning station to local residents, hoping to raise awareness of the station’s potential, and increase the passenger numbers to get Pilning out of the 10 least used stations.  We produced and distributed 2000 leaflets (thank you, FoSBR, for your very generous donation towards our campaign). Twitter account @PilningStation and the campaign website were set up. #SUCCESS