Sunday, 22 May 2011

Churnet Valley Protestors- NIMBYs by another name

"Nimbyism" runs through the objectors to the reintroduction of the railway to the Churnet Valley like "Blackpool" through a stick of rock. It is very easy to pick a series of paradoxes out of their position. A principle one is the area that they seek to defend was formerly an industrial area and not the pristine, untouched rural wilderness they seem to want to portray. As evident by a newspaper account of the Churnet Valley written in the 1930s about the area at the end of the 19th century

" Some 50 years ago the basin was a scene of bustling activity with limestone being broken into ballast grades by large groups of men: limestone was burned into agricultural lime. On the other side of the canal brick making was practised and further into the valley coal was mined from galleries running into the valley sides"

I have been an advocate of expanding the railway for some time and think that this development has excellent potential for the area along with the tourism scheme at Whiston on the site of the quarry.

Both plans offer the possibility of jobs sorely needed in the area. It also could also cut down on car usage to Alton Towers. On the same day you carried as the Churnet Valley protestors meeting you carried a report on the latest unemployment figures of 1,100 for the Moorlands and 8,000 for the Potteries.

I am sure that many of the unemployed as well as some of the under employed locally would relish the prospect of new jobs. Or are the well-heeled protestors bothered about the lot of those without jobs?