New Mills don't have that much to moan about because Goole AFC and Brigg Town, both have better claims to being in NPL 1(North) than they do. What New Mills don't like is the fact they're not in the same division as other sides from the Manchester area. They're not the first and they won't be the last club who won't like what side of a boundary they're placed when they'd rather be on the other. If anyone has a right to mank & moan it is Goole and Brigg, who're constantly missing out on more than a handful of derbies with the Leeds/Bradford based sides and instead have games in Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, North Warwickshire and Leicestershire with no real local derby other than each other.
I'm increasingly convinced that the NPL would be better with an east-west split at step four.
As the NPL's Step 5 feeders are split east-west (NWC & NC(E)) it would be a better idea. Although, in the current circumstances, that would have the Northern League clubs having to travel as far as Leicestershire to play Shepshed, Loughborough, Quorn, etc and it's currently hard enough to persuade any of them to want to travel any farther than Harrogate (unless it's in the FA Vase of course). It also seems like any "promotion application" is the ultimate "promotion form" killer in the Northern League.
Hang on you are the one that said East/west would be a BETTER idea . Travel distance of 20 miles also means nothing. It would still need a coach, something that we dont use at present.
If you want to quote miles, here you go the future on East/West split.
Coalville to Bedlington 192.9 miles
Quorn to Bedlington 188.7 miles
Shepshed to Bedlington 185.9 miles
Coalville to Whitley Bay 186.2 miles
Quorn to W.B 182 miles
Shepshed to W.B 179.2 miles
Coalville to Dunston 178.1 miles
Quorn to Dunston 174.9 miles
Shepshed to Dunston 172.1 miles
Not forgetting weather being far worse up north in winter, causing more postponements and longer travelling times.
Goole and Brigg have never been to bothered about playing the local yorkshire sides because they dont bring the same numbers in support to them as the Leicestershire sides(bar quorn ) as well as Stamford , Grantham etc.