I’ve heard and read so much about the tram coming to Kimberley recently and wanted to put a few of my thoughts into words.
Letters and e-mails from supporters are flying about in abundance. KENTAG chairman Andrew Cooper’s passion is extremely evident, nothing wrong with that, with the support of Richard Robinson. I’ve read in the recent Kimberley Town Council flyer that KENTAG’s research indicates that ‘most Kimberley residents overwhelmingly support the new tram route’. In the same flyer, under the heading ‘Core Strategy’ the author states that as a community, we need to be able to embrace the changes that are inevitably on their way to Kimberley (as with the tram project) adding further, ‘Kimberley Town Council strongly supports KENTAG’s campaign to build a tram extension’.
It’s being mooted to help regenerate Kimberley and maybe ease the horrendous traffic congestion that those of us have to queue in to get to and from work every day. If the tram were to stop at the old Great Northern station off Station Road, maybe that could work, I don’t know, bearing in mind however that the old Midland station at Nine Corners closed to passenger traffic in 1916 after only 37 years through lack of use. That’s probably why the Great Northern line ran for 86 years for passengers due to it’s more central location until it’s total closure four years later in 1968 after the axe fell from Dr. Beeching.
But how would the tram regenerate the town? Why is the tram ‘inevitable’ in Kimberley? Why do so many people ‘drive past’ the Phoenix Park, Wilkinson Street and Forest park and ride tram stops every day?
And where is the evidence that most Kimberley residents overwhelmingly support the new tram route?
Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m on the fence with this. I honestly don’t know whether it would be beneficial or not. But what I take exception to is having this scheme rammed down my throat as if its some kind of fait accompli. Let’s have a meeting called where this can be openly debated, properly and democratically, so that both sides of the argument, for and against, can be discussed. Only then can residents like me, make up their own minds and decide what happens in their town rather than I feel, being drip-fed and brain washed into believing that the tram coming to Kimberley is what we want and need.