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Cyclists on public roads

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

Comments (1)

RATHER than claiming on the front page that the the "railway line deal is one step closer" last week's Leek Post & Times headline should have been consigned to the back pages where it should have read something like "CVR and MCR called to account by investors".

Why the local newspaper, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (through its Churnet Valley Masterplan), local councillors etc. ever gave the fantastical plans of these companies any credence is beyond me.

Anyone with some rudimentary knowledge of local infrastructure and land ownership and a basic understanding of market forces always knew their plans were pie in the sky.

In the item last week Tony Hancock of CVR is reported to have distinguished the two organisations by saying "CVR is a heritage company whilst MCR is a private company".

My view is that CVR is a group of hobbyists with over-ambitious ideas who run a collection of old railway engines and carriages, most of which have very little to do with the heritage of the Churnet Valley, and whose efforts would be better employed tidying up their existing rolling stock than planning extra services.

MCR is the railway company with no office, no employees, no trains and a diminishing amount of track.

What isn't a joke though, is the impact they are having on some local people.

I have heard of homeowners living in the vicinity of the railway line have had potential buyers needlessly pull out of house sales because the purchasers' solicitors background searches have revealed that freight trains are to be run along the route near what might be their new home.

And, moreover, had it not been for the unwarranted commandeering of the disused railway line by these two companies there might have been a chance of the the Pedal Peak Phase 2 cycle path, which is currently being constructed along the Caldon Canal towpath, going along what would have been a far superior route along the Stoke to Leekbrook and Leekbrook to Cauldon Lowe railway lines.

This route would have allowed cyclists to travel from Stoke-on-Trent to the Peak District on a traffic-free route, unimpeded by anglers, dog walkers, families, low bridges and boaters who will also be using the towpath. As it is cyclists will have to negotiate around these obstructions as far as Leek or Cheddleton and then travel to the Manifold Trail on public roads along with the other traffic.

In the meantime the old railway line will remain largely disused and become increasingly overgrown with vegetation. Crazy! Wendy Birks, Endon

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  • Maverick5029  |  March 28 2014, 9:36PM

    I can't believe that Wendy is still rambling on about the railway. I'm beginning to think that Wendy actually cares about the railway and all this negativity is a way to keep the railway in the press. Even so her constant obsession with bad mouthing the railway is becoming rather tedious now so perhaps she should change the record. The majority of the major preserved railways started off small like the CVR is now, yet look at how the likes of the Severn Valley Railway and North Yorkshire Moors Railways have flourished and the amount they contribute to their local communities and economies. Of course, if Wendy had her way we would have walking trails that would bring little in the way to the economy of the local Leek community. Just one last thing, the small band of volunteers work hard to restore the rolling stock of the railway and to keep the railway running for the public to enjoy, but with limited numbers all the jobs take time. Of course, Wendy could always use her time more productively and instead of moaning, pop down to Cheddleton and grab a paintbrush, the kettle is always on.

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