Loud ‘no’ to rail bikes − ‘April Fool’s joke, surely?’

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THIS week’s website opinion poll question attracted plenty of votes and more than half were not happy about a new rail tourism venture on the Gisborne-Wairoa line.

Of the 706 people who voted, 56 percent said they did not support KiwiRail’s decision to grant use of the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line to a cycling rail-trail tourism venture.

Only 17 percent of voters did, with 25 percent saying they did but would have preferred trains to use the tracks. Eleven said they did not know.

Heated debate

The poll question got people fired up. The comments section was largely people on the warpath against the mothballed line being used for anything other than rail freight and The Gisborne Herald and KiwiRail copped it too.

An online reader said The Herald editor’s coverage of the tourism venture had been “totally biased”.

“No mention in the editorial of negative comments — only positive ones.

“No investigative journalism of comments by the pro-rail groups, political parties or even comments from KiwiRail.

“Time you started thinking of the general population of Gisborne, not just a small minority.”

Others were in firm agreement that railway lines were for railway traffic.

“Not a short-sighted bike trail venture. Put some effort into getting things back how they should be and run some trains.”

“The decision is ridiculous when after the coming election it is highly likely there will be freight trains to Napier and a railcar to Wellington.”

“The district needs trains, not toys.”

“Absolutely the wrong decision, see you in court KiwiRail.”

“This decision is a total insult to the Gisborne population and industry who need trains to avoid our city becoming a zombie town.”

“Gisborne needs rail, not bikes.”

Despite the clear backlash from online voters about the idea, there were a few positive comments — four to be exact.

“Anything that brings tourists and their dollars to Gizzy is good,” said one online voter who liked the idea.

Another said that since trains would not be running again on this line any time soon, it “may as well be put to use”.

“This innovative venture has the capacity to share the line with many different operations. All it needs is a bit of goodwill.”

One voter thought we had all been had been duped.

“This decision would have to be an April Fools joke — surely?”

THIS week’s website opinion poll question attracted plenty of votes and more than half were not happy about a new rail tourism venture on the Gisborne-Wairoa line.

Of the 706 people who voted, 56 percent said they did not support KiwiRail’s decision to grant use of the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line to a cycling rail-trail tourism venture.

Only 17 percent of voters did, with 25 percent saying they did but would have preferred trains to use the tracks. Eleven said they did not know.

Heated debate

The poll question got people fired up. The comments section was largely people on the warpath against the mothballed line being used for anything other than rail freight and The Gisborne Herald and KiwiRail copped it too.

An online reader said The Herald editor’s coverage of the tourism venture had been “totally biased”.

“No mention in the editorial of negative comments — only positive ones.

“No investigative journalism of comments by the pro-rail groups, political parties or even comments from KiwiRail.

“Time you started thinking of the general population of Gisborne, not just a small minority.”

Others were in firm agreement that railway lines were for railway traffic.

“Not a short-sighted bike trail venture. Put some effort into getting things back how they should be and run some trains.”

“The decision is ridiculous when after the coming election it is highly likely there will be freight trains to Napier and a railcar to Wellington.”

“The district needs trains, not toys.”

“Absolutely the wrong decision, see you in court KiwiRail.”

“This decision is a total insult to the Gisborne population and industry who need trains to avoid our city becoming a zombie town.”

“Gisborne needs rail, not bikes.”

Despite the clear backlash from online voters about the idea, there were a few positive comments — four to be exact.

“Anything that brings tourists and their dollars to Gizzy is good,” said one online voter who liked the idea.

Another said that since trains would not be running again on this line any time soon, it “may as well be put to use”.

“This innovative venture has the capacity to share the line with many different operations. All it needs is a bit of goodwill.”

One voter thought we had all been had been duped.

“This decision would have to be an April Fools joke — surely?”

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