Saturday, 14 January 2012


The protests over the proposed new railway from London to Birmingham typify the "nimbysm" of the people living along the route. It is also a problem for Cameron and his Tories that many of his supporters, including his father in law are up in arms as is Baron Rothschild.
This latter person will be subjected to a railway within a mile of his country seat which to him is unacceptable. Poor man, my heart bleeds for him.

It is hard for people who have their houses destroyed for such a scheme as inevitably some will be but this has happened all over the country with the building of new towns and motorways and people have had to put up with it.

The difference is that those previously affected have not been as well heeled and lacked the political clout of those now threatened.

It seems OK to build over countryside in semi urban areas where there is a scarcity of open space but not in the broad acres inhabited by well heeled Tories.
Their view will be disturbed and no doubt newts and other supposedly endangered species threatened they will say.
Hundreds of millions of pounds will be expended as a sop to these well heeled people in tunnelling to avoid spoiling their views.

The above may seem that I do not hold the countryside dear. I do especially as a farmer and am well aware of the impact of transport networks on local environments. I live 100 yards from the M6 which bisects my farm and the noise is noticeable at times, but you get used to it and shielded by greenery as it now is the impact is minimal.

If the only reason for building a new railway was the speed of getting to London I would be against it.
My main reason for supporting the venture is that when continued to Manchester and especially Liverpool these cities would be rejuvenated.
Liverpool could become a gateway to Europe and a thriving port once more
In addition many much needed jobs in construction would be created and having been compl;eted the line would be a permanent part of our national infrastructure for many years, unlike the Olympic Games or the "Dome". We would reap the benefits for years and help redress the balance between the affluent South and the neglected North.

Of course many of those complaining are not concerned with the prospects of the northern regions or employment in general, insulated as they are by city office jobs and great wealth.
Many live in the country in second homes and are there only at weekends and do not want their rural idyll disturbed so they can escape the environment in which so many others live.

But how do they travel to their rural retreats? By car along a motorway which will have affected the regions through which it passes just as much as a railway, or even by rail where the same argument applies.

Unless they avoid rail and motorway travel they should at least have the insight that their mode of transport affects others, but then when have these types ever considered others, let alone the national interest?