*EDIT: BBC NEWS WILL BE FILMING A PIECE TOMORROW AFTERNOON AT 2.30PM (SUBJECT TO CHANGE). PLEASE COME DOWN TO THE MEADOW LANE (NATURE RESERVE) CROSSING FOR THEM. CHECK OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR ANY CHANGES TO THIS.
Wow, I expected the objection to Network Rails plans to be large, but have been bowled over by the response. There have been over 4,000 unique visitors to the initial post on here in the first two days, and several hundred have now joined the Facebook group set up to oversee the campaign.
Best of all, people have done things. The most obvious, and highly effective way to do stuff is simply object directly. Loads of you have. By both email and phone call, the response has been overwhelming. After receiving a barrage of contact, many pointing out that there was something sneaky about the way the consultation was being conducted, Network Rail conceded and, after an admission that the lateness of the initial letter was wrong (due to an admin-error, apparently), they have extended the deadline to January 25th. This gives us some much needed breathing space. Well done all, this was people power in action. But there is still much work to do.
I managed to get the Nottingham Post interested in the story (I was talking to them about a different story when this broke, which proved handy timing). The BBC also gave it a mention, and i’m on the radio Christmas Eve where I’ll give it more publicity.
So, an overview of what we’ve done:
- I designed a poster (below) which Michelle Patel kindly printed, laminated, and delivered. I will attach these to the appropriate places tomorrow.
- County Councillors Foale and Carr have had a great deal of contact, and have united to make representations to Nottinghamshire County Council.
- Councillor Carr has added it to the policy agenda at Borough Council.
- An FOI has been submitted to ascertain the actual safety record of the crossing.
- Notts Ramblers Association have been contacted: they have passed this onto their Rights of Way officer.
- Beeston Marina has been contacted.
- Attenborough Nature Reserve have been alerted.
- Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have been alerted.
- Many local and national cycle rights groups have been contacted (including Sustrans and Pedals).
- A campaign group in Northumbria have been in contact, having waged a similar battle (and won) in their patch. I’m chat to them later this week to get some ideas.
- Beeston, Long Eaton, Erewash Running Clubs have been alerted (possibly more).
- Big Wheel scheme notified.
- The Horse Society contacted.
- Borough councillors – MP alerted, who have responded proactively.
- A petition set up: sign it here
- Other stuff, undoubtedly: if I have left something off let me know (either here or by firstname.lastname@example.org ) and i’ll add it.
A public meeting has been set up AFTER the consultation period, at Attenborough Hall, 8th Feb 2017, 3-6.30pm. I’ll give you more info on how this should be approached later.
Keep on spreading the word, get people objecting, show Network Rail what we Beestonians are made of. As someone who has worked in a press office for a large corporation before, I know how much this will terrify them and show that we won’t roll over and let them restrict our right of way.