Toad Talks: NIMBY types, and how it’s only going to get worse

With NIMBY type people becoming ever more vocal, Toad ponders how the onset of new technology might actually make things worse

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NIMBY, noun. ‘a person who objects to the siting of something perceived as unpleasant or hazardous in the area where they live, especially while raising no such objections to similar developments elsewhere.’ Acronym meaning – Not In My Back Yard.

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NIMBY types have been in the news quite a bit recently, from pushing for the closure of one of the UK’s oldest motocross tracks to complaining about the noise of bikes and cars in Ludlow. As noise-angered human voices gain an extra decibel of volume, mostly thanks to the echo chamber of social media, so the cause of NIMBY marches on. And as other people see how easy it is to cause trouble and strife for venues and facilities – most of which will have existed in the area for much longer than the complainant has, the size of the anti-noise brigade will only grow in numbers and in strength.

It is not just the power of social media that will make life harder in years to come, as the onset of Euro5 and the Euro6 for bikes will mean quieter stock bikes and a harder life for those that enjoy modifying their machines. Cars too are getting ever quieter and are already a cycle ahead of two-wheelers in the Euro emissions and noise race. Cars are also less likely to be modified by owners, they drive more slowly, and are less likely to raise the eyebrows of a curtain-twitching NIMBY looking for its next kill.

The tech on the road isn’t the only thing that’s against us, high-tech noise monitoring kit is also being deployed at the roadside to monitor vehicle noise and supposedly catch the culprits. You can bet your bottom dollar that if the government can milk road users for another couple of quid for the sake of a drive-by noise test, they’ll do it. It’ll also likely take no more than a handful of these types of complaints from serial complainers to see them getting wheeled out.

But there is also a bigger, more substantial problem on the horizon – the rise of the electric and hybrid car and motorcycle. When everyone is wafting through the countryside sounding like Scalextric set, imagine the shrieks of fear and anguish when you and your mate pootle through the area on your RSV4s on open pipes. Scary thought isn’t it?!

What can be done to battle the NIMBY type people?

While the knee-jerk reaction is to set up a Facebook group and organise ride-outs wherever these complaints come from, that’ll just add fuel to the fire, and give ammunition to the people that at the heart of the issue. While it may not be quite as rewarding, sometimes it's better to be the only grownup in the argument. Rolling off the throttle way before you enter a village, as opposed to hammering up to the 30mph signs like you’re gunning for a TT win, doesn’t mean you lack testicular fortitude, but it does prevent these idiots from having a reason to get onto their local MP for the 312th time this month.