Trails not rails

Do you remember the uproar a few years back when the rail service was suspended? The protests? The riots?

Do you remember the uproar a few years back when the rail service was suspended? The protests? The riots? The letters in the paper? Me either. The truth is, it was barely missed. Only when the mirage of a service being reinstated appeared on the horizon did some elements of the public voice support.

The reality is that our money continues to be thrown at the pursuit of an impractical rail line, impeded by deteriorating infrastructure and interrupted by hundreds of driveways and road crossings.

No official recognition has been made of alternative and more beneficial uses of the corridor. Many of those forcing a rail agenda have openly stated that, if the public knew the reality of the railway will mean a freight line, they would no longer support it. Yet those representatives have not made this clear to the public they represent.

At no time has a feasibility study been carried out. The studies that have been done understated costs and failed to adequately recognize alternative uses. Those in favour of rail are not supporting a passenger service, but log trains and coal trucks rolling through our towns. Even if successful, a rail line would rob us of quality of life as Vancouver Island’s East side would fall victim to the unwanted industries required to fill the freight cars needed to recoup the $200 million cost of the rail repairs.

If public transport is identified as a priority, a more flexible community bus service could run when and where required, and link to an improved express service the length of the island.

The rail corridor should be used as a wheelchair friendly, paved cycling and walking route that will allow safe and efficient transport for tens of thousands who live along its route. It would tie in with existing ferry and air routes to bring tourists to our businesses cheaply and easily. It would allow easy access to the outdoors for people of all ages and could form the backbone of each municipality’s cycling and walking strategies.

Vancouver Island is still viewed worldwide as a beautiful destination. Canada is viewed as a healthy, outdoor oriented country. Let’s build on the positives we have at our disposal and use this opportunity to preserve the natural beauty we enjoy, promote sustainable tourism and provide a benefit for every individual and community between Courtenay and Victoria.

Michael AddiscottQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Still no firm plan for cold-weather shelter in Parksville

BC Housing says community partners will present their plans in ‘coming weeks’

Person airlifted to hospital from Parksville Community Park

Police say ‘no danger to the public’ following incident

RCMP looking for missing 26-year-old woman, last seen in Parksville

Public asked for assistance finding Felicia Olteanu

Car crashes on Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay

Single-lane alternating traffic on Northwest Bay at Wall Beach Road

Ballenas JV Whalers reach final four in Subway Bowl competition

Gridiron squad tames Timberwolves 28-6, will face South Kamloops in semifinals

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

B.C. man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in Kelowna winery washroom

The camera was found at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

No new rules needed to ensure timely youth justice, Supreme Court says

Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Most Read