Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

Metal or stone – Rutherglen offers a selection of crash alternatives

When it’s on one of my regular walks I tend to lest these under the title of ‘Missed me’, but Rutherglen is not seen that often, only if I feel like a longer walk than usual.

Given the number of bashed barriers and broken bollards I see, it’s a surprise I don’t also see them happen, but then again, most culprits are probably drunks and speeding criminals, so the action happens in the wee small hours, when even I am tucked up in bed.  By the time I get there, the evidence has usually been cleared away (done very quickly these days to avoid traffic disruption) and all I get to see is bits of car – and the fun is then to guess the make and model.

I thought this was mildly amusing as Rutherglen has gone to the bother of installing decorative polished stone bollards on the main street to deter rogue pavement parking, and matched these with decorative metal fencing for pedestrian control.

In the case noted below, it’s interesting to note that the driver concerned elected to go with the nice soft metal barrier, and avoid the nasty lump of granite (I think that’s what is, but don’t quote me) as a handy ‘stopper’ for their car.

The degree of bending is mild, at least compared to sort of mangling and uprooting which tends to be seen when cars go careering into similar barriers in Shettleston. While I’d quite like to get pics of the actual event, given the extent of the loss of control and speed indicated by the damage, I’m also relatively happy not to be anywhere near one of these useless articles when they lose control.

Driver’s choice… stone:

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

(Sorry about the taxi, it pulled up as the pic was being taken, but it’s  not too bad, since it counts as an ‘interesting’ registration).

Or metal:

Rutherglen bent barrier

Rutherglen bent barrier

These are actually adjacent, and the two pics were taken from the same place, one looking to the left, and one to the right.

Not sure about the bending. After getting home and looking at the pic, can’t decide if it is low/manoeuvring speed incident (like a lorry reversing), or something a bit faster with a car, which would also have been moving against the flow of traffic here to do that.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Rothesay pier fence farce trundles on

The farcical story of the fence on Rothesay’s pier has now swung all the way from legal necessity demanded by current legislation relating to shipping and anti-terrorism measures, all the way to being completely unnecessary – other than as a temporary erection when the occasional cruise ship visits the Isle of Bute.

In between it has involved definite statements from councillors claiming the fence is a requirement, is not a requirements, is never going to happen, and was always going to happen.

Whatever else, they’re going to be able to claim they made the correct statement – even if it was just the luck of the draw as a result of multiple choice.

Reading back issues of The Buteman will even show that while it may not have descended to the level of name-calling, it may as well have given the acrimonious exchanges and back-pedalling that have arisen latterly.

This week has seen Alan Reid, Westminster MP for Argyle and Bute visit the offices of the local newspaper.

Last week, Councillor Robert Macintyre had harsh words for the island’s MP, who, he said, was guilty of making “ill-founded” and “unhelpful” comments on the subject of the fence.

Mr Reid provided the newspaper with a reply he had received from Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, which stated that the only fencing that the Department for Transport requires at Rothesay Pier is temporary fencing during the occasional visit from a cruise ship. He went on to say, “Jim Fitzpatrick’s letter shows that all the talk from the council about the Westminster Government requiring a two or three metre high permanent fences at Rothesay Pier was complete nonsense. A three foot fence to stop people falling into the water makes sense, but higher permanent fencing is not a Department of Transport requirement. The council were aware of this in July and said then that no permanent fencing would be put up, so I don’t understand why they’ve done a U-turn since then and now want to build a two metre high fence on part of the pier.”

I’m tempted to add a comment, but I’d better not, and will just sit quietly and await the next act.

No, on second thought I will add a short comment -this is really sad.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rothesay pier fence farce

In what seems to have become an almost classic example of why you should never listen to or believe anything that anyone involved in any sort of politics tells you, the story of the fence for Rothesay’s pier looks set to become a benchmark.

We first noticed this beginning of this epic fantasy tale towards the end of June, when See Rothesay, See Alcatraz was noted. At this stage we noted:

Now, it seems that Rothesay pier is to be permanently closed to the public by an eight foot high security fence topped with barbed wire, and it’s due to be installed mid-August, the busiest time of the year as the Bute Highland Games take place then. The fence will stretch from the Albert Pier to the moorings, with gaps for passengers and vehicles.

The fence will be supported by 3-metre tall steel posts, spaced at 3 metre intervals, carrying welded mesh steel sheets 2.5 metres high, and topped of by three strands of barbed wire.

The fence is said to be needed to comply with the Department of Transport’s ‘Transec’ policy on the protection of passengers, ports and shipping.

The question of Planning Permission for the installation was raised, but brought the response that it would probably be classified as “permitted development”.

Councillor Isobel Strong added: “I think this is security gone mad. Do the powers that be think that Rothesay is in the forefront of international terrorism, and that a high fence with barbed wire is necessary?”

A few day later, at the start of July, we followed up with Rothesay pier security fence on temporary hold, when a delay was announced in order for further consideration of the design and necessity for the fence to be given by those responsible.

A few days later it seemed that Alcatraz on the Clyde may be curtailed, when we observed:

Bute councillor Robert Macintyre perhaps summed things up more tactfully, “I think the regulations have been somewhat misinterpreted by our officials”, when quote in this week’s Buteman. Councillor Macintyre was further quoted as saying, “At this stage I would say there is some dubiety about the height of, and maybe even the need for, a fence”.

After the passage of another few days, we had made it past the middle of July when we announced Escape from Alcatraz, and the following quotation:

“I confirm that there is now no question of our erecting a permanent structure – it simply is not going to happen.”

So said councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll & Bute Council transport spokesperson, as quoted in this week’s Buteman article on the subject of the proposed 3 metre steel security fence and its topping of three strands of barbed wire.

The fence was initially claimed to be needed to comply with the Department of Transport’s ‘Transec’ policy on the protection of passengers, ports and shipping. Then, in the face of the resultant outcry, it transpired that things might not be quite right and that this insanity had been dreamed up by someone who had been reading the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which applies to ships larger than five hundred gross tonnes in weight, and making voyages in international waters. Quite which of their brain cells was responsible for equating this code to the likes of Bute ferries will probably never be known, but it should be pensioned off sharpish if it is ever found.

While the news is welcome, after reading the carefully chosen words of the authority, I find myself remaining concerned about the future for free access to the area of Rothesay pier by members of the public – that’s you and me.

I dislike articles dependent on carefully selected short quotes, generally taken out of context to change their meaning, and commend you to read the full article to confirm that while I am indeed making a few carefully selected quotes, these are only for the purpose of review.

From the first quote given above, we have a specific reference to “no question of our erecting a permanent structure”, which leaves the door open for temporary structures.

That looked like the end of the matter (if the statements were to believed) but I wasn’t holding my breath in anticipation, and sure enough, at the beginning of October we were able to roll on the fence story again with It’s Health & Safety madness time again, and this pulled the famous H&S card out of the pack as we observed:

After reporting that some sort of Common Sense had miraculously taken over from the insanity, it seems that those in power have taken umbrage, and are determined to see a fence installed on Rothesay’s pier “By any means necessary”.

Having failed to achieve their initial aim of a three metre steel fence topped with barbed wire, necessary to meet the increased threat of terrorism, the new plan is to install a mere two metre fence, and forget the barbed wire – and it seems it will be a nice, calming blue.

This seems to contradict the last report from a few weeks ago, where we were quoted:

“I confirm that there is now no question of our erecting a permanent structure – it simply is not going to happen.”

So said councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll & Bute Council transport spokesperson, as quoted in this week’s Buteman article on the subject of the proposed 3 metre steel security fence and its topping of three strands of barbed wire.

Councillors defend fence

After all the above, all three councillor have now joined to defend the installation of the two metre fence on Rothesay pier, as reported in this week’s Buteman article.

Reporting on last week’s community council meeting, we are told community councillor Peter Lingard said it was his clear impression that the fence was "not going to take place".

But Councillor Len Scoullar replied: "I always knew there was going to be a fence. You couldn’t have youngsters playing about in there while the boat is docking – it’s dangerous. Look at Wemyss Bay. All the working area there is restricted too."

Cllr Isobel Strong added "whatever regulations there have been in place before have now been superseded", while Cllr Macintyre added: "I can’t imagine the pier not having any means of regulating where cars can go and where people can go.  I just don’t understand all the hullabaloo about a fence of a similar height to the one that has always kept folk walking in the right place. I can’t understand why certain people seem to think that it’s absolutely abhorrent to have any type of fencing down at the pier. Remember that it is the year 2008."

Comment

I could go on endlessly about this now, but think it may be more pertinent to observe that the issue now is probably less about the fence, and more about the credibility of those who are supposed to represent the wishes of the people they are supposed to represent.

Having gone first from a fence proposal, to a proposal consideration and withdrawal, we are now in a position where we have a no proposal, a fence under construction, and an appeal from Councillor Macintyre:

“I would ask people to give it a chance. See what it looks like and make your views known then – don’t add to the storm in a teacup some people are making at the moment.”

So we have to go to the expense of building the fence, then deciding whether ot not we like it, and if not, having it removed – who’ll pay for that then? The councillors? The taxpayers?

Time to get get used to the new fence I think, like it or not.

Maybe someone will come up with the bright idea of extending it and adding barbed wire in a few years “For security purposes”.

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Health & Safety madness time again

On the fence

On the fence

After reporting that some sort of Common Sense had miraculously taken over from the insanity, it seems that those in power have taken umbrage, and are determined to see a fence installed on Rothesay’s pier “By any means necessary”.

Having failed to achieve their initial aim of a three metre steel fence topped with barbed wire, necessary to meet the increased threat of terrorism, the new plan is to install a mere two metre fence, and forget the barbed wire – and it seems it will be a nice, calming blue.

This seems to contradict the last report from a few weeks ago, where we were quoted:

“I confirm that there is now no question of our erecting a permanent structure – it simply is not going to happen.”

So said councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll & Bute Council transport spokesperson, as quoted in this week’s Buteman article on the subject of the proposed 3 metre steel security fence and its topping of three strands of barbed wire.

This new structure is to be installed on Health & Safety ground, apparently because there is a risk that ropes being thrown to the shore from vessels which are berthing might hit people standing on the pier, and make sure the public can’t get access to the machinery of the passenger gangway.

Tim Saul, the chairman of Bute Marketing and Tourism Ltd, told The Buteman: “I suppose it’s a better compromise than a three metre high Colditz-style barrier, but I suspect there will still be some very vocal criticism – especially since piers have been operating quite happily for years and years and years with no need for fences any more than four feet high.”

Alan Reid, Bute’s Westminster MP and Liberal Democrat, said he still needed to be convinced that such a fence is really necessary under health and safety legislation, “Earlier in the summer the council announced their intention to build a three-metre fence, saying that it was a legal requirement. After a public outcry they changed their mind. Now, without any prior warning, they’ve started work on a two-metre fence. I have asked the council why they think this fence is necessary.”

The fence is reported to be costing some £21,000.

The new fence is already being built, whether or not this means it was just started without planning permission or whatever approvals and authorisations, if needed, I don’t know. You can read the details available at the moment in this week’s Buteman article.

At the moment though (and I will be happy to be corrected as I have no access to further information), it looks as if two of the Jobsworth’s favourite tools have been pulled out of the hat: One; start the job without asking, then you shift the focus from what you’ve done to that of the protesters – and blame them for the cost of rectification, and Two; cite Health & Safety as the justification, because then you point out that if anyone is subsequently injured as a result of the protesters’ success, you can point the blame back at them.

cat
more animals

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Escape from Alacatraz

“I confirm that there is now no question of our erecting a permanent structure – it simply is not going to happen.”

So said councillor Duncan MacIntyre, Argyll & Bute Council transport spokesperson, as quoted in this week’s Buteman article on the subject of the proposed 3 metre steel security fence and its topping of three strands of barbed wire.

The fence was initially claimed to be needed to comply with the Department of Transport’s ‘Transec’ policy on the protection of passengers, ports and shipping. Then, in the face of the resultant outcry, it transpired that things might not be quite right and that this insanity had been dreamed up by someone who had been reading the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which applies to ships larger than five hundred gross tonnes in weight, and making voyages in international waters. Quite which of their brain cells was responsible for equating this code to the likes of Bute ferries will probably never be known, but it should be pensioned off sharpish if it is ever found.

While the news is welcome, after reading the carefully chosen words of the authority, I find myself remaining concerned about the future for free access to the area of Rothesay pier by members of the public – that’s you and me.

I dislike articles dependent on carefully selected short quotes, generally taken out of context to change their meaning, and commend you to read the full article to confirm that while I am indeed making a few carefully selected quotes, these are only for the purpose of review.

From the first quote given above, we have a specific reference to “no question of our erecting a permanent structure”, which leaves the door open for temporary structures.

The Buteman article begins with a similar observation, and notes that senior officials and council member met and “quickly came to the conclusion that there was no need for a permanent barrier”. Again, ruling out only a permanent structure.

The door remains open for future developments under the hysterical anti-terror banner, as councillor MacIntyre went on to say the authority was now “seeking to agree a measured approach in full consultation with local members”.

Whatever happens in future, perhaps the last word is best left with the statement Tim Saul, chairman of Isle of Bute Marketing and Tourism Ltd, gave to The Buteman, “This is a very welcome development – perhaps common sense has prevailed after a fleeting instance of insanity.”

July 17, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alcatraz on the Clyde may be curtailed

barbed wire

We’ve been following develpments along the pier at Rothesay, following the announcement that it would be taking on the appearance of the Clyde’s own little Alcatraz, complete with a 3 metre steel plated fence with three strands of barbed wire along the top. Just the sort of welcome to bring the tourists (and their wallets rolling in).

There’s more news this week, to the effect that the fence is not only on hold to allow a review to take place, but that the whole thing might just be the insane dream of some demented little Jobsworth, bent on applying the rules come hell or high water.

Bute councillor Robert Macintyre perhaps summed things up more tactfully, “I think the regulations have been somewhat misinterpreted by our officials”, when quote in this week’s Buteman.

The issue, which arose recently, appears to stem from the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which applies to ships larger than five hundred gross tonnes in weight, and making voyages in international waters.Clearly neither of these criteria apply to the ferries making the half hour crossing from the Scottish mainland to the Isle of Bute, a Scottish island, so hardly an international destination.

Councillor Macintyre was further quoted as saying, “At this stage I would say there is some dubiety about the height of, and maybe even the need for, a fence”.

Rothesay harbour renovation, May 2008

Rothesay harbour renovation, May 2008 © wfmillar

We can only echo the councillor’s further words, where he said he failed to understand the need for this vast array of change, especially since the Bute ferries had berthed overnight at Rothesay pier for many years.

All the developments (and ongoing works), of recent years have changed what used to be a nice place to stand and enjoy the view, together with being able to stand reasonably close to the various vessels were arriving and departing, into a rather unwelcoming place anyway, and it would be nice to have the ending of the works and restrictions as something to look forward to. The attached pics of the current renovation works might make those unfamiliar with the spot wonder what there is to look at, as the place resembles something of a building site, and has since the see wall was built a few years ago, marking the start of most of the civil engineering works (which included a new end-loading linkspan for the ferries), but these are transient, and will be gone in a few years. When that happens, a view across the harbour and bay would be nice, not a slab of metal and some barbed wire.

Back in the days when the biggest upset was the building of the sea wall referred to above, the bringers of doom warned that the new sea wall would block all views of the bay, and ruin the outlook forever. While this was never going to happen – the wall just wasn’t high enough – 3 metres plus wire topping would be enough to spoil things on the front, and not just for those on shore, those arriving would have little to applaud in the new view.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rothesay pier security fence on temporary hold

barbed wire

Following our spotting of last week’s story about the plan to erect a 3 metre steel fence topped with three rows of barbed wire on Rothesay pier, to bar public access, it seems that there has been sufficient outcry at this brilliant plan (it seem to forget that anyone can get on the ferry by buying a ticket, or get on the island anywhere else along its open shores) for a temporary hold to have been put on the plan.

The fence was due to be put up between July 22 and August 18, but there will now be a delay while the design, and neccessity, of the fence is given further consideration by those responsible.

Full detail of the revised situation, and the opportunity to register and make your opinion known can be found on the Buteman site.

July 3, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , | 1 Comment

See Rothesay, See Alcatraz

barbed wireIt’s often said that the so-called War Against Terrorism has already been lost because we’re now shooting one another, locking people up without trial, and sleepwalking into a surveillance society marked by CCTV and Identity Cards that mean no-one in Britain is really “free” any longer (unless they’re criminals that ignore the law anyway – they can do as they please). Now we have the insanity of Government legislation on the security of ports and the people and ships that use them.

Time was that you could get up in the morning and amble off to Bute/Rothesay for the day without much pre-planning, then “security” and undisclosed Government security requirements brought us “shore ticketing. Previously you just arrived and drove on to the ferry and bought your tickets from the Purser during the crossing, now you have to turn up early enough to buy your tickets from the ticket office on land, and there’s a whole raft of new rules and regulations that came along with that change too, which the unwary or inexperienced can fall foul of.

Now, it seems that Rothesay pier is to be permanently closed to the public by an eight foot high security fence topped with barbed wire, and it’s due to be installed mid-August, the busiest time of the year as the Bute Highland Games take place then. The fence will stretch from the Albert Pier to the moorings, with gaps for passengers and vehicles.

The fence will be supported by 3-metre tall steel posts, spaced at 3 metre intervals, carrying welded mesh steel sheets 2.5 metres high, and topped of by three strands of barbed wire.

The fence is said to be needed to comply with the Department of Transport’s ‘Transec’ policy on the protection of passengers, ports and shipping.

The question of Planning Permission for the installation was raised, but brought the response that it would probably be classified as “permitted development”.

Councillor Isobel Strong added: “I think this is security gone mad. Do the powers that be think that Rothesay is in the forefront of international terrorism, and that a high fence with barbed wire is necessary?”

Brian Fulton, Caledonian MacBrayne’s regional manager for Bute, said the decisions on the need for the fence and its erection and design had been taken without any involvement from the company.

(Maybe it’s all a horrible mistake, and it’s just a leaked proposal to protect the islanders from the drunken neds that think they can arrive on the island and behave as they please.)

Visit the Buteman web site, where you can read the full Outrage at Rothesay pier fence plan story and register to pass an opinion on this “wisdom”.

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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