Monday, November 12, 2007
Over the past few weeks, the Glossop Chronicle featured several articles by the pro-bypass journalist David Jones, both focusing on Dinting Road, between Glossop and Hadfield.
The first article was a feature about the latest instalment in the saga that is the 'Park & Ride' next to Dinting Railway Station. A businessman, Trevor Mooney, has blighted the area with this useless lump of tarmac and was moaning in the article that High Peak Borough Council have withdrawn permission to use it for Car Boot sales on Sundays. Apparently, he has had a premonition that the car park is doomed. There have been a succession of similar articles like this over the past few months - Mooney is eager to portray himself as an honest-to-goodness businessman (there's an oxymoron - as well as a moron - in there somewhere) hamstrung by bureaucracy. But the truth is more complex than that.
Firstly, prior to the construction of this park and ride, no one parked their cars halfway down Dinting Road. The mere fact that it was free to park on it for the first few weeks meant that the selfish idiots that now leave their vehicles down the road knew about it in the first place because of the car park (that they no longer use). Where do these people live? If it's near to Glossop - walk to the Railway station there and use it. The same for Hadfield. Surely if you live within 15 minutes of Dinting Station, you can walk? Is it really too much trouble?
That aside, these individuals are creating a very dangerous situation on Dinting Road. The vehicles are parked on one side of the road, from the top of a blind summit which snakes round a bend to nearly halfway down the road. If you're using the road in either direction, you have to hope that no-one is travelling at more than 40 mph (the speed limit on the road) and is paying a lot of attention to the route - it's even more precarious at night and in bad weather. With lorries from the nearby quarry travelling hell-for-leather (time is money) down the hill leaving mud all over the road surface, it is a dangerous route: and all the more so now for Mooney's useless car park.
But the fact his car park is not used suits his plans. Why? Well because after his development, it's now a brownfield site, so he can build on it. If his little venture fails, he'll move on to something else - either 'developing ' it himself or selling it on to someone else who will. As local people know, one of the great things about the Hadfield side of Dinting Road is the view from the Station across land which is unfarmed and uncultivated - and therefore very ecologically diverse. Mooney has done his bit to ruin it.
And over the last two weeks, we've seen Mooney in the Chronicle and the Glossop Advertiser again. His latest wheeze is to promote an idea to build a Golf Driving Range adjoining his car park. Jesus Christ! But hang on - didn't he once have the same wheeze about Wimberry Hill, above Hadfield? And there are rumours flying that there's a link up between Mooney and another businessman who made a Cemetery Road in Glossop a muddy deathtrap for weeks owing to earthworks they created for some ill-fated project a few years back.
Reading these articles, you could almost close your eyes and remember the time when Chris Woodward used to occupy the Chronicle virtually every other week. At one point, that charming individual plumbed the depths by using racism - he threatening to allow Gypsies to park on land he owned that HPBC had refused planning permission for. In a similar way, clad in his undertaker's jacket, Mooney is prone to portraying himself as the victim and using the local press at every opportunity. Who knows what depths he'll eventually plumb to keep his Slobodan Milošević-like fizzog in the local rag.
If anything, High Peak BC have not hindered this moron - they have in fact helped him to create this situation in the first place. Why did they allow his car park to be developed? This crew are continually making idiotic decisions about the environment in the area. Where will it end?
Another recent feature penned by David Jones highlights the hazardous nature of Dinting Road to schoolchildren who have to cross it to get to Hadfield School. They have for years - but now the road is recognised as being far more dangerous. All owing to Mooney - and High Peak BC.
But wait - one of those moaning about the road is Andrew Byford. Remember him? Is this the same guy that had his (best left in the loft) ideas for a Glossop Bypass and plugged them in the local papers earlier this year. So he wants less traffic now?
That's the trouble with the 'leading advocates' of this road, like Jones and to a much-lesser Byford (who is also a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator - thank god!) is that they live in a world full of contradictions. They want less traffic and less congestion, but more roads (is there such a thing as a new road that remains unused by traffic?). They want to shout about the special place that Glossop and the High Peak are (or increasingly were), but froth at the mouth with excitement about the plans of developers whose business plans bring nothing to the area that enhances the environment - and on the contrary makes it worse to inhabit.