Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Union Street bus gate sign

I got the chance to take a couple of quick pics related to the new bus gate I mentioned recently. Appropriately, both were taken from one of the buses which should benefit from the gate.

I grabbed the first as we were negotiating the cheeky dog-leg that sees the bus travel north against the normal one way traffic flow to the south in Jamaica Street, as it transits from Howard Street into Midland Street, on the left. Both Midland Street and Howard Street (at this location) are two-way, and the two flows have to alternate as these streets are narrow. In fact, the entry into Midland Street is so tight that if any dopey/impatient car driver stops on the cycle area ahead of the vehicular stop line, the bus usually can’t make the turn, and the offending driver has to find a way to back up out of the bus’s way. And that’s not always easy if a queue has stopped behind the eejit.

It’s also a good idea to remember the oncoming buses if you are cycling along Midland Street, and keep to the left if the lights are at red, otherwise you’re going to be face to face with around 8 tonnes of bus – and that’s just best avoided, even if it is moving at walking pace.

The second pic was sheer chance in Union Street, when I saw the warning sign about the impending arrival of the bus gate, and tried to catch it as the bus passed.

I only had one chance, and I’m surprised I even caught it, given the ‘wake-up’ time of the camera.

Union Street Bus Gate Sign

Union Street Bus Gate Sign

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19/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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

There WAS a third Midland Street mural on the way

Not that I was being particularly clever, but I was right when I suggested it looked as if there would soon be a third mural joining the pair I ‘collected’ in Midland Street recently.

And here it is.

I wonder if there will be a list, since these seem to go up quickly, and almost at random.

Midland Street mural

Midland Street mural

Update

It’s just coming up for about FOUR weeks after I posted this series (including the ones in the link above), and GlasgowLive is suggesting:

Head over and take a sneak peek at the first of the new collection for yourselves, or wait until the finished product is ready to be unveiled.

Glasgow’s latest mural series unveiled as tribute to The Arches

And there;s me been getting dragged past them on the bus for nearly a month now, and thought they were ‘Old News’!

🙂

18/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

   

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