I’m concerned, in fact I’m very concerned and I want others to show concern too. I’d like the people in and around Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester to share my concern; just as I think it’s important for those living in the Wool, Moreton and local village areas.

Local councillors, Chambers of Commerce, BIDs and other trade organisations should show concern, as should the MPs that represent us. We all need to be concerned and we need great urgency in being concerned…..about our local railway services.

As informed by the Dorset Echo, on the SWR network our less than acceptable one-an-hour service between Weymouth and Waterloo is scheduled to continue through till December.

This means that the hourly service will continue to be ‘badged’ as Weymouth-Bournemouth where, inconveniently, passengers will need to change to a waiting train that will continue to London Waterloo.

As if this isn’t bad enough, the service back home will not only be one an hour (to Weymouth) but the last train departing London Waterloo (to Weymouth) will be 20.35.

Yet, the new timetable states no less than five other later departing trains to Bournemouth (21.20, 21.35, 22.35, 23.35 and 23.40) – with two of these (21.35 and 22.35) coming back as far as Poole. I’m at a loss to understand how it is that we are deprived of the two services that terminate at Poole, traditionally coming back as far as Weymouth.

Weymouth is a terminus and it has been normal to have four SWR trains parked up for the night ready for the morning services. And one or two GWR trains.

To my way of thinking, ours is now no more than a branch line and this concerns me greatly.

Both train companies operating out of Weymouth (SWR and GWR) already are disadvantaged by single tracks between Dorchester South and Moreton and between Dorchester West and Yeovil.

I note from the Echo report that there may also be a reduction in services on the GWR Weymouth-Bristol line; my goodness, there are few enough trains operating this route now!

Of course the dreadful pandemic has forced companies to reduce overheads and I fully understand that operators of trains and buses have suffered major, major declines in passengers; so within reason I’m okay with one an hour on a temporary basis. But it now looks as if we may be on a planned permanent decline in services altogether.

Incidentally, as an aside, while I see there has been an emphasis on the redevelopment/reconfiguration of Weymouth railway station, still there are no customers’ toilets, yet I note that out in the sticks these exist at Wool railway station. I do understand the problem in Weymouth, but with trains now locked until shortly before departure, there are no facilities.

To my mind it’s another sign that Weymouth is not being properly recognised as an important part of the railway network. We ought to be very concerned about its future.

Not too far distant is the summer holidays period when trains will be busy. Just one an hour while trying to social distance with no chance of additional carriages? We need to bring pressure to bear on all the relevant people that represent us in order to resolve a looming problem. Please be concerned.

Dave Johnston