Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mildly reassuring car crash story from Aberdeen

Crashed car

I’ve seen a number of ‘car crash’ stories (and I use the term merely for convenience, rather than get tangled up in an attempt to attach a more accurate description) in the media recently, referring to drivers who have driven into areas of roadworks which should have been clearly marked off to prevent unintended access.

They caused me concern as most seemed to conclude with the driver being prosecuted and found guilty of some offence, and fined, maybe even given some points as a bonus.

While I cannot comment on those stories as I was not privy to the full details of any those cases, just the media’s take, they did concern me as they related to a place I had been in, thankfully only once, and many many years ago – and with no damage or injury arising.

But I always wondered what would have happened if the police had been on hands, as they often are in that area.

In my case I’d been leaving Aberdeen by the usual dual carriageway due south, grim dark night with light snowfall (not enough to lie, just interfere with vision), and had the apprentice as a passenger. A route followed so many times it was virtually an autopilot run.

There’s no lighting on that road, so headlights are a must (and I had upgraded custom items fitted).

Both of us thought the road was quiet, and after driving for a while became uneasy at not seeing a single other vehicle for some minutes.

I stopped for a better look even though we were crawling along by that time.

I was glad I had stopped, as it was obvious we were in the middle of abandoned (due to the weather) roadworks.

I backed out of this, and when we got back to the start found that there were no warning signs, and that the cones which should have closed this section of road off were lying at the side of the road, meaning there was no indication to drivers arriving there.

Fortunately, nothing happened as there were no holes in the road, but I always wonder what would have happened to me (ie the driver) if it had, and I had been deemed to have ignored the signs – which I didn’t, since there were none there.

But who would believe that in court?

Even if I did have a witness in the car as to the state of the cones and signs?

See also Car crashes into ditch after workers fail to close road

Not that far away from my story – wonder if it was the same workers?

Maybe I wouldn’t have ended up in court after all.


Nov 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

It’s only a few days since I walked along this particular piece of road, and at first I didn’t realise something fairly major had happened.

First clue was pieces of car headlight reflector, some silvered plastic caught my eye first, then I saw pieces of the unit, and these led to some more pieces of grille. But for the silvered parts, what little there was could have been missed as it was spread over a distance of about 15 metres, and was only what was left after the rest was swept up, and not noticeable unless all seen together. No bits big enough to ID the car.

I checked the road and kerb, (and the trees which grow from the grassy part of the kerb here) and found some rubble knocked loose from the kerb about another 15 metres from the line of remains. But there were no skid marks, so whatever happened had not seen any heavy braking take place.

For once, the pic I took shows little (and there was not point in taking a pic of the bits of plastic), and I concluded the car/vehicle had left the road and gone through the metal fence pictured.

I base this on the Police blue/white tape which is all on the other side of the fence (I’ve had to inset a slight enlargement to identify it) as are the larger parts of plastic panelling from the car (they’re mostly black and just don’t show up against the ground in the pic).

The pic doesn’t really show much as it’s clear the recovery and clean up time got their fast, did their job, and even got the damaged fence repaired quickly – it was only after seeing the whole scene and standing back a little which showed the finish of these fence sections was different to that of the older sections to either side, giving away their newness. Apart from that, all those bits are behind the fence – and that didn’t happen unless the fence was knocked down.

I have to confess to being impressed by these recovery services. I’ve seen a couple of incidents that disabled the car involved, so not drivable, and made a mess of the surrounding area, and while things like brick walls take time to arrange, the tidy up of the ground and removal of the car can be done in hour or two – as long as it take me to get to the shops and make the return trip.

London Road Cleaned Up Crash

London Road Cleaned Up Crash

That’s two fairly major misses in a matter of days (I posted one in Cambuslang a few days ago).

I wonder if I should be worried?

I tend to think, or imagine, this sort of thing comes in threes, so the next one might be too close for comfort.

May 25, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

It seems to be a long time since I came across a proper ‘Missed me’ scene – nearly all the walls, fences, and bollards on my wandering routes seem to have been fixed, or just removed if that better suited the relevant budget.

I know this is new, apart from passing the spot reasonably regularly, there were fresh, clean, and shiny bits of broken car stuck in soil at the bottom of this ever-so-slightly modified fence.

The knobbly footpath shows this happened at a pedestrian crossing, and is clearly the result of a car coming up Clydeford Road at speed, possible ignoring the traffic lights, losing control,and speeding through the junction into this fence.

Make your own guess as to why the driver didn’t manage to negotiate a simple traffic light controlled T-junction.

I’m just glad I wasn’t there, and thinking about crossing Cambuslang’s main street, but then again, it probably happened in the middle of the night, so I wouldn’t (have been).

Cambuslang Fence Crash

Cambuslang Fence Crash

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

I still find it intriguing that my varied walking routes, which I change every few weeks to stop becoming bored, mean I see changes I would not see happening gradually.

They also mean I see some significant changes, not least of which is the way road barriers are trashed when I go back to a route, indicating vehicles went onto the footpath at speed.

I noted one in Baillieston a while back.

They didn’t replace the barrier, but it looks as if they later added a more substantial bollard to the corner.

Guess what?

Yup… when I went back to this route, the bollard had been flattened too.

Clearly needs MORE foundation!

Baillieston Bollard Down

Dec 3, 2015 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Missed me (Baillieston) repaired

Looks as if Glasgow City Council has found a cute way to save money in these times of austerity, and has found a way to reduce the cost of repairs needed after road traffic incidents damage pedestrian barriers.

Just pretend they were never there – if nothing else, it looks better than just leaving the mangled barrier in place, which is what happen along the road, in Shettleston. I could have a whole album of mangled barriers where cars have remodelled them, and the damage (to the barrier) has never been fixed. I’ve never seen one with a car embedded or impaled, or when it happened (probably at 3 or 4 am), but the number of severely remodelled barriers also makes me glad I wasn’t there at the time, since their drivers were clearly less than competent, and hopefully ended up in jail after being asked to “Keep blowing until I tell you to stop”.

This is the second ‘repair’ of this type, the first being on a section of barrier at a pedestrian crossing outside Bannerman School, taken out by a spinning car a few minutes after I passed the spot (there is a post about somewhere in here), and the barrier section was just cut away. Given its location I expected it to be replaced quickly, but then gave up waiting to see it after the first year passed.

So, here’s the latest ‘repair’:

Baillieston barrier repair

Baillieston barrier repair

And a reminder of how it used to look:

Baillieston barrier crash

Baillieston barrier crash

Apr 29, 2014 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Missed Me!

I missed (sorry, no pun intended) the opportunity to post the pic below when it happened a few weeks ago – the weather really was just too bad to risk carrying a camera that wasn’t waterproof, and around the same time I had arrived home twice, genuinely soaked through to the skin such was the weight of rain I had been obliged to walk through. I had to out everything in the machine to spin and then tumble dry.

This particular spot in Baillieston is not where I’d expect to see this extent of damage, since the junction is one where the layout obliges traffic to move slowly. I can only guess somebody tried to beat somebody else and occupy the same bit of road, and one had to dodge. Glad I wasn’t there at the time, as this road has to be crossed every time I go to the shops.

The reason I grabbed this ‘Missed Me!’ candidate was down to being too slow in getting back for the more interesting shot I really wanted.

I popped a humorous item in about a penny stuck in the road at a pedestrian crossing recently, but slightly less amusing was the recent appearance of the lights on this crossing a few days ago, as it was clear that a vehicle had ploughed straight into one set on the island in the middle of the main street, and bent it over at 90° so it was lying flush with the road. Notably, the road is four lanes wide there. That would have been tough for anyone standing on the island, and I knew someone killed by such a pole some years ago, when a car ran into it, and the pole hit them on the top of the head, fracturing their skull. The car never touched them, just the pole as it whipped down, and they died without regaining consciousness, so never even knew what happened.

The damage pedestrian crossing light pole was replaced within a day – the barrier below has been coned off for weeks.

That penny’s still there, just along the road.

Baillieston barrier crash

Feb 27, 2014 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Missed me! (Again)

If I was really as paranoid as I think I am, then I think I would be starting to worry now.

Starting over a year ago, but having become rather more frequent in recent weeks, I’ve notice an alarming number of road barriers trashed along my common walking routes.

The first time this sort of thing lodged itself in my head was when I was walking to the shops one evening. While everything was fine on my way to the shops… when I returned to one particular spot about 30 minutes later, it was apparent I had been lucky not to have been there during that time. A wrecked Fiat was sitting against the fence which separated a school from the pavement, with a sizeable section of said fence uprooted where the car had hit it before coming to a stop (against  tree) a few metres from that first point of impact.

Notably, the road is reduced to a single lane there, enforced by a traffic island and road barriers, with an opening for pedestrians to use a light-controlled crossing.

Somehow, this Fiat had manage to pass through this opening, barely touching the barrier, and turned 180° to face back the way it had been travelling – anybody unfortunate enough to have been waiting at the crossing, or walking on the pavement would have been wiped out by this car as it flew over the pavement, bounced off the fence, and impacted the tree.

Since then, I’ve tended to notice the odd bent road barrier, but more recently, have noticed that these scenes are becoming more frequent.

Sometimes the reasons are obvious, either down to idiots speeding on a wet bend (or drunk/drugged) and losing control, but sometime, as in the case of the aforementioned Fiat that almost passed cleanly through the pedestrian opening in the road barrier, it takes a long time looking at the marks on the road and kerb before a possible path can be guessed at.

I might start collecting them, as per this recent example which missed me, as I was not walking this route for a few weeks, so don’t know when it happened.

Baillieston Rd barrier crash 2

Baillieston Rd barrier crash

This one’s fairly obvious, and has been caused by a car crossing over from the other side of the road, probably having come speeding round the shallow bend, driven by a fool that could not control it, or had fallen asleep at the wheel (drunk/drugged). Fortunately, they seem to have scrubbed off most of their speed before arriving at the barrier, so in this case would not have reached me… on the pavement!

Sadly, the ground had been swept clean of spare parts, as I like to play “Guess the car” using the wreckage left behind at the scene, but in this case there was nothing to be found.

Thanks to wide adoption of ABS and stability controls on even the humblest of cars, there’s seldom any skid marks to help with analysis, although tyres hitting kerbs, or being dragged sideways over the road by a spinning cars still leave evidential marks, but in this case, places such as the kerb were clean, suggesting this happened a while ago, and any marks had been washed away while I was elsewhere.

Baillieston Rd barrier crash 1

Baillieston Rd barrier crash

The damage has been repaired since these pics were taken.

The worst aspect of this sort of stupidity is that it is often not the driver that pays the price, but some hapless pedestrian that gets wiped out by them, or a passenger in their car.

There was such a case near here a few years ago, where a driver ‘under the influence’ drove straight of the road at a small bend, and ploughed into a lamppost on the pavement.

The driver walked away… the passenger was killed.

Even though the passenger was complicit, and could have told his ‘mate’ he was not getting into the car given his condition, that ultimate sanction is just a bit much – and left a distraught family in its wake.

They are the real victims.

Feb 16, 2014 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Quiet Clutha

It’s been a week since events saw a total of nine fatalities and more than thirty injured result from the crash of a helicopter on the roof of a Glasgow pub – the dead included all three on board the helicopter.

While there has been praise for those involved, it’s sad to note that one individual has been fined for comments made online after the event (and others may be pending), and one media commentator apologised after making a joke which referred to the crash.

The end of the week also saw a visit to the site by Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay,  who also went on to meet some of the survivors nearby.

I didn’t know about this visit until later that day, as I had decided to take a trip in to see the site for myself. While I’ve not been there for a while, the area used be one I visited frequently. As an aside, ever since the advent of practical radio-controlled model helicopters (I don’t mean the toys we’ve seen arrive in past few years, or quadrotor drones), I’ve never lost interest in them, as the models follow the full-size so closely in design and operation.

The area was notably quiet, almost silent, which was eerie, since it usually very busy with traffic and people hurrying about their business. Temporarily, all streets are cordoned off to traffic, and few people were walking along them, although only the street running past the Clutha was closed to pedestrians.

I collected a few pics to mark the event, but in reality, with the police cordon around the Clutha, and the fact that this was an event that took place on a roof, there wasn’t really that much for someone without access to see. The only notable feature was a temporary structure place over the hole in the roof.

Clutha crash site

Clutha crash site

Notably, the area that had once been the car park for the RNVR Carrick had been set aside for those who wished to leave a floral tribute.

Clutha tributes

Clutha tributes

Dec 6, 2013 Posted by | Aviation, Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quiet sky

It’s been a little odd for past couple of days/night, as the sky over the east end of Glasgow has become rather quiet and empty.

Today, Sunday, the full effects of the past day’s events are coming to light as the victims are named:

Glasgow helicopter crash: Victims named

You’ll find much more coverage online, as this became a major incident, with prime coverage around the world. I actually first learned of it while watching Russia Today, when it flashed up on the screen shortly after the event, and this morning, the story was injected in a stream of ‘Old Time Radio’ which I often listen to online, and that’s not even current content, being radio plays from as far back as the 1920s.

The site of this incident is a place I have stood at on many occasions, but never at that time of night.

Just as I started writing, I heard the sound of a helicopter approaching, and went for a look. Not one I recall seeing before, it appeared to be completely white, but moving away meant its details could not be seen. However, its passing and served to highlight the absence of the police helicopter.

It’s often only when something you have become used to disappears that you tend to notice it, and the sight and sound of the police helicopter was pretty much constant over the east end. I was used to it, sometimes quite close, but never close enough for a good pic. It was always moving away by the time I collected a suitable camera and lens.

At night, my wanderings to the shops also meant seeing its lights in the air, as the round trip means a walk of up 2 hours, during which it was often a regular sight.

Seen a few weeks ago, passing over the east end:

Police Helicopter Glasgow

Police Helicopter G-SPAO Glasgow

Dec 1, 2013 Posted by | Aviation, Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial service in Glen Nevis for Canadian Spitfire pilot

Spitfire and pilotNews of another memorial service related to a Spitfire, this time for a young (21) Canadian pilot who lost his life on May 16, 1943, while returning to RAF Fraserburgh after a photographic reconnaissance mission over the west of Scotland.

Flying Officer John McDonell, from Smithers in north west British Columbia, was a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot flying with the RAF.

He died while flying in low cloud, when his aircraft struck Meall an t-Suidhe, a hill near Ben Nevis.

The memorial service will take place  in Glen, on May 16, 2013, with members of the RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team in attendance.

Via Spitfire pilot’s death in the Highlands to be marked


May 10, 2013 Posted by | World War II | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giant sculpture felled in Tullibody hit and run

Pictured below is a giant sculpture created by Glasgow artist Andy Scott, and known as Air Spirit (also Man in Motion, and Muirside Man).

Erected in 2008, it seems not all the locals were impressed by this, or four other sculptures the artist has installed around the area.

The 4 metre (13 foot) creation was installed at Muirside roundabout, Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, but no longer looks as shown, as it is understood that a car crashed into the statue, which sits outside the village police station, at about 21:10 GMT on Saturday night, and that Central Scotland Police are investigating the incident, which seems to be a massive case of hit and run.

Despite the sculpture being something in the order of 5 or 6 tonnes, whatever type of vehicle was installed, it was not stopped by the collision, although the sculpture appears to have collapsed completely, possibly because it only went through one of the legs.

Air spirit sculpture Andy Scott

Air spirit sculpture by Andy Scott © Paradasos

Feb 14, 2011 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

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