Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The intriguing plans for Glasgow’s neglected lanes

It’s a shame that so many people are ready to cast scorn on any initiatives proposed by Glasgow City Council out of hand, without the slightest consideration of their merit. Granted, the council has suffered (and in some cases still does) from the possible existence of ‘Ego Projects’ at the behest of some councillors, but such dismissal is probably as bad as those wayward proposals.

I know, I used to be a member of a forum that enjoyed attacking the council regardless – but then I realised this was just mindless hate on the members’ part, and left.

I’m sure they’ll be having a little ‘hate orgy’ this week, and dancing around burning copies of the Glasgow City Council’s draft strategy and public consultation documents for the improvement of some 90 lanes within the city centre.

That would be a mistake.

While I was initially sceptical after seeing stories about the strategy in the media, actually looking at the detail for myself revealed a sensibly researched review and proposal within this strategy, and one which I hope will eventually come to be financed and adopted.

In fact, the strategy runs to some 90+ pages in a well presented document:

Draft Lane Strategy for Public Commnet (pdf document)

Council approves next stage of strategy for Glasgow’s city centre lanes

I’m familiar with many of Glasgow’s lanes (and seldom venture into them, and certainly not in the dark), and those that come to mind at first are not appropriate for the plan, being the back of many business, or access to their services. They also suffer from one of our good/bad ideas – giant wheelie bins for their waste. Admittedly better than the piles of black bags and waste, they still take up space, and can ‘go walkies’ since few lanes are level – I used to work near West Regent Lane for example. As can be seen, it’s needed for access, and the lane surface is old, failing, and on an incline.

West Regent Lane

West Regent Lane

Similar, but not on an incline, is Renfield Lane, but it has a fine crop of business related wheelie bins:

Renfield Lane

Renfield Lane

These are NOT the lanes of the plan, although it suggests that improving their condition would still make for a better, cleaner environment, provide improved access, and help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

In fact, taking the time to look at the proposals without an ant-council bias shows the selection of a small number of lanes in areas where they could be developed as attractions, and turned into public spaces with shops, restaurants and bars.

This has happened in other areas of the city, and those lanes have become favourites with both locals and visitors.

With this in mind, it’s now worth reading the media coverage:

Glasgow’s back lanes in line for Melbourne style revamp

World-inspired revamp for Glasgow’s 90 city centre lanes


April 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Finally recovered this interesting little car pic


I have to confess this is a slightly old pic I’ve had ferreted away while I tried to fix or recover it.

The car was noticed in the corner of a bigger pic, so is cropped from it, or them to be accurate since more than one was needed.

The car was originally obscured by a gate, and not being a millionaire I don’t have Photoshop (which I believe has a tool for doing this sort of fix), and I didn’t know how to use my freebies to achieve the same function – then I realised how to trick it and make it do this.

The result’s not too bad, and obviously a lot better than the same view with a wrought iron gate crossing over it.

While the subject (car) is clean, I see that some artefacts remain in the background, so you can hunt for them.

It was worth the effort, as I can probably use the same technique for more important pics in future, and look at rich Photoshop licensees with a little less envy.

The car is interesting, and probably is (or was) a bit of a rarity to spot in Scotland (or even the UK) as it is an Aixam micro car, notable for being licence-free in its native Continental Europe – some of the smaller models are restricted to 45 kph (28 mph) and can be driven without a driving licence in some European countries (including Belgium, Estonia, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Slovenia, but NOT the UK).

In the UK they are classified as a category L7e quadricycle (quad bike) because of their weight and power output, so need only a category B1 licence to be driven legally. The law changed in January 2013, permitting special restricted low power versions of the car (Aixam 400) to be driven by full AM licence holders in the UK.

While the badge on the right is the official factory fit OEM item…

I suspect there is a 4.0 Litre Jeep Cherokee somewhere feeling a little naked and embarrassed following the modification and attachment of the badge the left 😉

Petrol and diesel engines were similar, and displaced something around 500 cc to produce almost 20 or 12 BHP respectively.

Micro Car AIXAM 1999

Micro Car AIXAM 1999

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment


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