Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Oh look! A bus gate

But, don’t look too hard for it – they’re (almost) invisible.

It’s some years since we got a so called ‘Bus Gate’ in my corner of the east end. In fact, I’m still waiting to see it.

The only reason I know it’s there is because of the squeals and whines I seem to recall from some who objected to it.

Far from being a physical ‘gate’, it’s nothing more than a curve in the road with an extra set of traffic lights supposedly deterring drivers from taking the main street (where all the shops and wandering people are), and diverting via a more direct and less congested parallel street, leaving the main street for buses/shoppers.

With no control or penalties for driving along the main street – lazy idiot drivers continue to squeeze along the main street along with the buses (and everything else), leaving the parallel road as quiet as it ever was. But, at least we can cycle along it in relative peace. It’s almost twice the width of the main street too, even with cars parked along both sides. Before I was priced off the road, I used it anyway. It was, and still is, the smart way to go – which is presumably why all the dummies fight for space to get along the main street!

I mention this because I’m intrigued by news of a bus gate arriving in the city centre soon (September)…

TRAFFIC restrictions on two streets near Central Station in Glasgow City Centre come into force early next month.

‘Bus gates’ are being introduced on Union Street — from Gordon Street to Jamaica Street — and at Oswald Street, from Midland Street to Argyle Street, from Monday 2 September.

Between 7am and 7pm, only buses, taxis, private hires, cycles and goods vehicles will have access.

The council is advising motorist to use Wellington Street/Robertson Street as an alternative for southbound vehicles, and York Street/West Campbell Street for northbound vehicles. Diversion signs will be in place during the initial period of implementation.

TRAFFIC To Be Curbed On Two Busy Central Glasgow Streets

Click map for bigger.

Midland Street Bus Gates

Midland Street Bus Gates

This looks like it still misses a couple of really busy spots – that Hope Street section along the western side of Central Station is often jam packed with taxis, reducing the road to only two lanes, and that soon come to a halt as they manoeuvre, and buses stop, as it leaves only one lane for traffic flow. Stop a bus in that remaining lane, and the whole place stops. I’m not complaining, just making an observation being in a bus on that street almost every morning.

So, I’m wondering if someone has a plan to expand the ‘gate’ area one day.

It seems that with the current implementation, the bus gates can carry up to a total of 360 buses every hour at peak times and will act as a traffic filter that allows access to these streets for buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, bikes and goods vehicles.

The council says:

These new measures will improve journey times through the city centre and help to make the bus a more attractive travel option in Glasgow. Reducing traffic in such a busy part of town will also reduce the emissions that pedestrians breathe in and simply make it safer for people to walk around.

The Midland Street section is intriguing (part of it sees the bus, or cyclist, travel AGAINST the flow of traffic along a one way street), and an almost daily bus run for me, so I’ll be able to see what difference, if any, there is once these ‘gates’ come into play.

I’ve cycled on some parts which will fall within the gate controlled area, but only out of curiosity, since it’s possible to miss out this fairly busy section by following cycle routes along its edge.

It may be a few metres longer than staying on the road, but unlike some cycling activists, I value my health more than making a point, so the few minutes longer it might take (if the lights go against me) are well worth the investment.

Who knows, come September everyone might be able to relax in Midland Street, and enjoy the new murals as they amble through, rather than belting through as fast as they can while trying to beat the lights.


18/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Anybody else miss Sundays?

This is nothing to do with religion, although that is inevitably the original source of what I miss.

Sundays used to be different from the rest of the week, as were weekends, but as we have become a 24/7 (not yet quote 365) society, the days almost all look the same.

Years ago, if you woke up and your calendar was broken, it didn’t take long to work out roughly where in the week you were, just by looking at what was going on outside.

And the weekend, especially a Sunday, was a good day to head into Glasgow if you wanted to explore a bit, and look at anything historic.

Most people tended to stay home, get stuff done at home, and of course, many shops were shut.

Most travel and parking restrictions were also not applicable on a Sunday either, so it was easy to get around, with even buses and taxis scarce.

Of course, Sunday trading is now the norm, and you can’t really see much difference in looking at a weekday street as compared to a Sunday street.

I see another of difference is about to become history – no parking charges on Sundays.

That’s due to come to an end soon as well.

Not that it matters to me, I was priced off the road years ago.

I’ll just miss ANOTHER little thing that made days different.

Life moves closer to being one homogeneous blob, with everything smushed together, and never varying day to day.

Glasgow council bosses challenged to restrict Sunday parking charges

Skoda Kissy Kissy Parking

Skoda Kissy Kissy Parking

05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

Just looked at yesterday’s news, and another ‘casino’ incident, just after a previous one.

Again, the only ‘good’ this is that while I may haunt that spot, I’ never be that at that time.

Police are appealing for information after a man was stabbed in a frenzied street attack in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The 37-year-old was knifed multiple times after he was set upon by two men outside the Grosvenor Casino in Glassford Street at around 5:45am.

He appears to have been in the company of the men within the casino prior to the incident taking place. The two suspects made off from the scene, heading south towards the Trongate area and turning left.

The victim made his way home and called an ambulance. He was taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment to several stab wounds to his torso and back. Medical staff describe his condition as stable.

Police hunt two men after man stabbed in frenzied attack outside casino

Man stabbed outside Glasgow Grosvenor Casino

Man repeatedly stabbed in ‘violent attack’ outside casino

Violent crimes

Violent crimes


The cordon wasn’t a ‘Violent Incident’ as such, and was later reported to be…

Police seize £1.4million of cannabis from Glasgow city centre building

As I’ve hinted often, you NEVER know what you might be passing by regularly, and until the turn of the year, I was at that spot two or three times a week.

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

Just looked at yesterday’s news, and two more incidents on places I might be found.

First one has the only good point in that I wouldn’t around there at that time of day…

A man is in hospital following a serious assault within a city centre nightclub in the early hours of Sunday (February 3) morning.

The 29-year-old was at Bar Budda in Sauchiehall Street around 2.55pm when the disturbance occurred.

He was taken to Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary where he remains, in stable condition, being treated for a serious ear injury.

Detective Constable Vhairi Macdonald said: “This was a very vicious assault which has left the victim with a very serious ear injury that requires surgery.

Man seriously injured in ‘vicious’ assault inside Sauchiehall Street nightclub

And this is somewhere I wandered into recently, and even recognise the spot in the pics. No details though (and no more info later)…

Police have cordoned off a street in Glasgow as they attend an incident this afternoon.

Officers have taped off a building on Cheapside Street in Anderston with a police car parked on the road.

Police Scotland confirm they are on the scene, adding that there have been no casualties or arrests made.

Police cordon off area of Glasgow street as they attend incident

Violent crimes

Violent crimes


The cordon wasn’t a ‘Violent Incident’ as such, and was later reported to be…

Police seize £1.4million of cannabis from Glasgow city centre building

As I’ve hinted often, you NEVER know what you might be passing by regularly, and until the turn of the year, I was at that spot two or three times a week.

05/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

A spot I’m often to be found at, with the only saving grace being – NOT at 6 am!

A man was taken to hospital after being attacked by four men near a casino in Glasgow.

The 30-year-old was targeted at 06:05 on Friday as he walked along Broomielaw, near to the Riverside Casino.

Police said he suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital as a result.

They have urged anyone with information to come forward.

Following the attack, the four men responsible fled from the area.

Man in hospital after attack near Glasgow’s Riverside Casino

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

01/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Our wonderful weather II

After yesterday’s post on this subject, I was in Glasgow city centre again and passed through George Square during the evening. The Christmas market is still there, which I mention only because I deliberately avoided St Enoch Square earlier as it has a similar feature, or HAD, since I glanced down there from Buchanan Street only to see it had gone completely, so I needn’t have detoured.

George Square was pretty quiet, but still relatively busy with folk having a last look.

Last week, this would have been a solid mass of people.

George Square Post Christmas

George Square Post Christmas

However, the interesting thing was the lack of cold.

While many people were wrapped up as if it was freezing (and I ended up overheating when inside buildings yesterday – I really did have to step outside to cool down at one point, and I was far from ‘wrapped up’), and I honestly don’t know how they could stand being wrapped up in thermal jackets, hats, hoods, scarves, and gloves, others were wandering around in t-shirts.

Here’s one example I caught at the side of a pic of the Christmas tree.

Is this really Glasgow, Scotland, on 30 December?


Scotland In December

Scotland In December

I checked my own temperature records when I got home.

That said it had been over 12°C at my house then, and had started falling (but only to 11°C).

Bear in mind I live in a ‘cold corner’, and a city centre can easily be 2-3°C warmer than the surrounding area.

It certainly felt like that.

31/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting images of the early M8 in Glasgow (Updated)

Some nice pics of the M8 in Glasgow in the 1970s.

I would say footage, but so far all attempts to view that offering just return a ‘Try Later’ message.

Unseen footage shows Glasgow’s M8 motorway in 1970s

Strange as it may seem to anyone who might think I tend towards liking only the older stuff, I don’t have any problems or issues with the changes that the M8 brought to Glasgow, and am probably more disappointed that so much of the original plan for the motorway was dropped as work progressed, and the objectors became more active and vociferous.

I tend to think things could have been better, and we’d have less jams today had much of the earlier work been allowed to progress as planned, and instead of having to spend later years fixing what we were left with, the same effort could later have been expended improving a developing system, instead of applying ‘sticking plasters’ to an incomplete solution.

We’ll never know of course. The noisy folk got their way, and much was scrapped to shut them up.

Now, we are still seeing ‘sticking plaster’ being applied to the M8.

This time, it’s in the form of a great big ‘plaster’ to be stuck over the motorway…

A roof garden with a landscaped park area will be created over the M8 near Charing Cross.

Currently the motorway drops down at this point with Bath Street Bridge over the top.

But Glasgow City Council want to ‘cap’ the motorway and create a park area in the gap so that people can easily walk over the top of the motorway from North Street to Newton Street.

The plan is part of the Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration framework which was presented to councillors on Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee today.

The overall aim of the framework is to link Glasgow City Centre with the West End and remove the barrier created by the M8.

Ambitious plan for roof garden over M8 to link city centre with west end

That said, I kind of like standing on the road over the motorway here, and watching the traffic speed through below me.

All good fun.

See more of this concept here…

Plans for M8 roof park to begin by summer

Note: “A council spokesman said the image was just indicative, and the planned location of the park was closer to the top of Bath Street in front of Tay House.

M8 Garden Image Keppie

M8 Garden Image Keppie

The story resurfaced again, in January 2019…

A pedestrianised cover could be installed over the M8 in Glasgow


Still can’t get the BBC video to run for some reason.

But one of out local sources has it.

Enjoy almost 10 minutes of archived footage on offer here…

(Sorry, you’ll have to click the link. WordPress is pretty fussy at embedding anything but the common stuff.)

Watch amazing unseen footage of Glasgow’s M8 motorway in the 1970s

Oops, my mistake.

So busy trying to fix the BBC problem (which was being caused by something else), I didn’t notice this film had been made available on YouTube.


15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Ease your conscience – go on a ‘Sleepout’

Since my own circumstances took a decidedly downward trend some years ago, I’ve become pretty cynical with regard to the sort of big high-profile events held by rich (compared to me) and privileged people who can basically (in my eyes) go out and ‘play’ at being poor or homeless for a few hours, or maybe even days.

One such recent ‘game’ was played in Scotland a few days ago.

A great wee party for those who attended, a wee drinky, and a free concert – and lots of nice free social conscience publicity for the wealthy celebrities who attached themselves to these events.

Oh, and helicopter transport too – probably the most expensive way to travel anywhere.

Thousands of people have taken part in a mass sleepout in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.

Organisers Social Bite said they hoped to raise £4m to help homeless people across Scotland from the event.

The social enterprise arranged for performances from artists, including Amy Macdonald and KT Tunstall, for the 10,000 participants sleeping out.

Both singers performed at all four locations, travelling between cities by helicopter.

The events were held in Aberdeen’s Duthie Park, Dundee’s Slessor Gardens, Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park and Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.

Charity Social Bite holds mass sleepout to aid homeless


I tend to side with this guy’s view.

However, the event attracted some criticism on the grounds that it is “patronising” to homeless people.

Bruce Forbes, director of Angus Housing Association, said: “I’m not critical of the fact that it’s raising awareness or the fact that it’s raising funds, but I think it is the fact that it now seems to be becoming an annual event which, really in a lot of ways, I think is quite patronising to homeless people.

“They’re having to sleep out every night, are not being entertained, they’re not sleeping in very high quality sleeping bags – it’s really not appropriate to try to replicate.”

It seemed far from realistic or appropriate that Glasgow’s event should have been staged in Kelvingrove Park, in the wealthy west end of the city.

Why not Alexandra Park in the supposedly poverty-stricken east end?

Or maybe in the city centre, where I snapped this nice Christmassy image of Buchanan street.

Christmas in Buchanan Street

Christmas in Buchanan Street

Yes, that’s someone asleep on the road, bottom left corner.

10/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Christmas is coming

I’ve been a bit tight with the early Christmas light pics, so I should get some of them posted.

This was the entrance to the St Enoch Christmas Market as seen from Argyle Street.

St Enoch Christmas Market

St Enoch Christmas Market

It provided the chance of a pretty good ‘reflection’ pic in the glass entrance to the Subway (behind).

St Enoch Market Subway Reflection

St Enoch Market Subway Reflection

The market’s quite quiet at the moment, so it’s still easy to a quick walk around.

A really quick walk in my case, as I must really be out of touch. The prices are just eye-watering for most of the stuff on offer.

Interesting to note the photo machines that were dotted around the place last year are absent. No great surprise (again, given the price) since almost everyone carries a phone with a camera these days.

Along at GoMa (Gallery of Modern Art)m the lights were finished, and all lit.

Couldn’t decide if ‘wide’ or ‘tall’ looked best for the building, so you get both.

GoMA Wide

GoMA Wide

Can’t get proper symmetry, at least not without standing in the road – and dying!

GoMA Tall

GoMA Tall

Although I still only shoot handheld, I’m using different base setting compared to the past, possibly catching more detail, and delivering darker darks, or shadows.

I’m leaving pics largely as taken (but errors always get fixed, if possible), whereas in the past I tended to ‘lift’ detail out of the shadows.

If nothing else, easier and faster for me.

23/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

We like our McLarens or, yes, I CAN run

I moaned about missing the opportunity to take a pic of a McLaren on Edinburgh road some time ago, thinking then that it might have been my only chance.

I got that wrong!

Assuming these are not just visitors ‘passing through’ it looks very much as if there are many wealthy Scots out there who like McLarens.

I’ve probably seen more of them than any similar car since I made that moan.

Most are in motion, so are past me and gone before I can even reach for a camera.

Spotting them in the city should be easier, but it’s not – a few green traffic lights, a couple of corners, and they’re gone.

Real life is NOT like TV cop shows or films, and a car you are chasing or following can vanish in only a few seconds.

And, the reality is that there are so many options for direction, you are never going to guess the right one, like they do in films and TV.

I spotted this one as I turned a corner, and a red light caught it too.

I still ran AND set the zoom long – with my luck the lights would turn green, and they did.

But a volley of shots brought a decent one.

I’ve already seen another one (black) since I caught this, but it was turning off the street I was in, and vanished.

Sadly, the owner must be poor – not a personal registration.

McLaren 570S Coupe [WX17ABF]

McLaren 570S Coupé [WX17 ABF]

19/11/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Police attend tragic Buckfast disaster in Glasgow city centre

Police rushed to attended at the scene of a tragedy in Glasgow city centre, when a 70 cl Buckfast bottle was broken, and the contents lost before they could be finished.

Here, officers can be seen on ‘Suicide Watch’, comforting the distraught owner while waiting for specialist Buckfast Loss Councillors to attend the scene, mitigate withdrawal symptoms, begin therapy, and start the former owner on the road to recovery from his loss.

Buckfast Accident Scene

Buckfast Disaster Scene

Closer look at the real victim, just gone to pieces.

Broken Buckfast Bottle

Sad Buckfast Bottle is really sad


Why me

Why me?

Yes, the pics are mushy, but I wanted to be as far away from this as possible.

22/09/2018 Posted by | Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

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