Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Dunlop’s Auto Shop Rutherglen oopsie

I’ve been a little ‘Out of circulation’ for a few weeks, so didn’t manage a quick return to Dunlop’s new Auto Shop in Rutherglen to see how it looked after (or even if) had opened.

It’s all nicely ‘tarted up’ with some eye-catching shutter murals and graphics – which I would miss if I landed here early enough to catch the shop open, so being late can have advantages as most of this is hidden when the shutters are rolled up during the day.

I see the opportunity for fun is still a feature – if you drive a Proton and are looking for parts I invite you to test their offering of “Any Part For Any Car“. While there’s no mention of any compensation for their failure to meet that promise, you will at least (provided you are not in a hurry) know that a day or two’s effort was wasted behind the counter. Then there’s always the option of a hint to Trading Standards.

But there’s actually a bigger sin apparent in this pic, now that the signwriting has been completed.

And it’s NOT that lack of apostrophe on Dunlop’s, (Dunlops’?).. or Dunlops as they put it, even though that is a pretty big sin.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

Did you spot it?

It’s only repeated three times.

This, below the windows:

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Tut-tut Dunlops, a car shop should know road law better than most.

You have no more rights to the public road in front of your shop than anyone else – the clue is in the word ‘public’.

This is a personal bugbear of mine whenever and wherever I see it, like the supposed ‘Red flag to a bull’ (seems they are colour blind), ever since I parked in front of Cross’s butcher shop (now gone, and the building even burnt down a few weeks ago) in Shettleston, on my way to hand a cheque into the nearby insurance agent.

Given the ranting and raving of the butcher who came running out of his shop to shout at me to “MOVE YOUR CAR! THAT SPACE IS RESERVED FOR MY CUSTOMERS! MOVE!” you could have been forgiven for thinking I had just knocked down his prize bull, instead of just having to listen to it.

Or that he did actually own that piece of road since it lay directly in from of his shop.

Public roads are just that – PUBLIC!

For the use of everyone who paid for them with their taxes.

You are entitled to the bit you are using, and nobody else has any more entitlement, be that the road in front of their shop, or even their house. Can’t get parked in front of your own house because someone has parked on that piece of road. Sorry, you’ll have to walk a few metres.

I’ll be watching this inventive piece of signwriting in the future.

Maybe someone local will take the hump (don’t look at me, I don’t live there, I’m just an observer), and have a word with the council, roads department, or even police.

Or maybe someone thinks that little end piece of road is no longer classed as ‘public road’ since it’s been blocked off, and this is OK.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XIII and XIV – Baillieston bonus

Being in Baillieston can (or could) be a gold mine for collecting pictures of bad, dreadful, or just plain lazy or selfish parking.

I’m sure if the police were ever short of their ticket quota, then they’d only have to go for walk from the local station and they’ve be able finish a book most days/evenings. And I generally don’t bother looking, or even deliberately leave the camera at home, or I’d have to start another blog dedicated to the abysmal parking often seen there.

But some are so bad, and unnecessary, that it’s worth the effort of recording them.

It’s worth noting the possible offences:

  1. no vehicle should stop on the crossing;
  2. no vehicle should overtake in the “controlled area” of the crossing (usually indicated by zig-zag lines); and
  3. no vehicle should park in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Offences can earn a fine up to £1,000, 3 penalty points, and discretionary disqualification from driving.

So, is getting a hot meal justification for this:

Baillieston Crossing Parking

Baillieston Crossing Parking

I make that TWO of the three possible offences:

  • STOPPED on the crossing;
  • PARKED in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Worth noting that these are ‘offences’ and not just parking tickets or PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices).

One way ignorance

There are two notable one-way streets in Baillieston, and I’m not sure if the regular offenders in them are strangers who don’t notice the signs, or arrogant locals who just ignore them. See Dyke Street and Martin Crescent.

Two narrow side streets were made one-way years ago, both feeding INTO the main street. This means they LOOK like two-way side streets from the main street, and the high mounted ‘No Entry’ signs are not the most visible due to their location.

In the past, I have been forced to run out of the way of angry drivers mistakenly turning from the main street into these side streets while I have been crossing them, and in their opinion ‘NOT PAYING ATTENTION’ – yet they were the ones committing the offence by turning into a one-way street AGAINST the direction of travel, and either driving or parking in them facing the wrong way.

If you think I’m exaggerating or just making this up, here’s just one example from my collection – a car parked facing the wrong way in Dyke Street at Baillieston Library:

Baillieston One-way Parking

Baillieston One-way Parking

In some respects I don’t really even blame the driver – the sign is poorly placed due to the wide and angled nature of the street, even if there are other clues to alert drivers, it’s position and the direction it faces does not help. I’ve also been gestured at by angry drivers here, as they turn into the street and I am crossing and apparently ‘In their way’.

I could probably collect stuff like this every day/evening I walk along the main street.

If  only I got a cut of the fines issued – it could be a nice little earner.

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

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XII – Dan Dan the parking man

It’s been a while since I saw a decent “If it’s stopped, it’s parked”, and the recent explosion of instant Internet fame, or media reuse as ‘clickbait’ fof a pic or video of a car tyre that has strayed as much as a millimetre outside of a marked bay in a deserted car park (where it matter not one jot), has put me off it.

But then the gems appear, and can re-awaken some interest.

Sure, it’s a quiet side street, but it’s neither abandoned nor derelict, and in use by the folk who live along it.

Could easily have parked against either kerb, and not just blocked it.

I wish I’d had the time to loiter nearby, and maybe got a pic of a car trying to use the junction, but had to move on.

Walking, rather than driving a Privileged Peugeot, means you don’t have time to waste.

Privileged Peugeot Parking

Privileged Peugeot Parking

It is empty and abandoned – I can’t run fast enough to stand in front of such driver and calmly take his pic!

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XI

It’s unfortunate that those who seek fame on the scourge that is ‘Social Media’ and try to create ‘viral’ content have found popularity by making the most trivial of parking errors into something to be seen as some sort of Mortal Sin or major crime. Instead of using it to log serious offenders, they have succeeded in making any parking transgression a matter that needs vigilantes to ‘key’ or otherwise vandalise offender’s cars, or take some other action against them, even though all they may have done is park over a line in a car park – usually where there are many empty spaces to be seen in the background, so nobody has been inconvenienced or troubled.

Equally strangely, those same vigilantes seem to see such parking as a major offence – yet seem to think they are justified if they (deliberately and knowingly) park one – or more – of their vehicles to block the first vehicle in, or block the driver’s access to it.

Strange logic – unless you are a bully, thug, or someone out to win ‘likes’ or create a viral pic or video.

Meanwhile, in the real world, they seem unable to see genuine offences on the road and footpath.

For example, this doesn’t look to bad at first glance, but look closer at the kerb:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 01

If it’s stopped it’s parked

Seen from the other side, the problem becomes more obvious:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 02

If it’s stopped it’s parked and not legit

Sadly, this is the sort of thing that is leading some people (not me, I just take pics in public places) to seek new laws to make it easier to fine those who park like this.

I don’t agree incidentally, since this is already an offence – vehicles may not drive on the footpath, other than to cross it for access.

But this law is seldom enforced – yet we supposedly need another!

A little further along the road, we had a more blatant example.

I suspect the driver thinks this makes them immune from the double yellow lines on the road, since they are off the road and on the footpath.

Not so!

Check the law and you will find that the enforcement area of the yellow lines extends to EITHER SIDE of them – so parking on the footpath does not escape their enforcement, and ADDS a further offence, of driving on the footpath.

Baillieston Tesco parking

If it’s stopped it’s parked

April 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Social media trivialises real issues

It’s a pity that social media lets mindless morons gripe about trivia.

At the moment, it appears to be ‘kewl’ to post pics of supposedly bad parking, and for certain news outlets to publicise those same pics and claim they are ‘viral sensations’. In reality, I suspect many are posed, and their trivial shots of things such as cars with a wheel touching the white line of a parking space in an otherwise empty car park are designed to attracts clicks and ‘likes’ because they are so ridiculous.

I seldom see any that matter, such as the example below.

I only notice as I first saw a woman with a pram and two kids in tow walking down the middle of the road because she could pass this van on the pavement.

Not only is it blocking passage on the footpath for a pram or wheelchair user, nobody can even walk past it thank to the inconsiderate parking blocking even that option with a huge door mirror.

Unlike ‘activists’, I have no problem with cars parking partially on the footpath where streets are narrow – drivers and pedestrian can share some inconvenience. But a little consideration can go a long way to help others.

Oh, my mistake…

The REAL villain of the piece is the homeowner on the right, and that massive hedge they have grown.

Obstructive parking

Obstructive parking

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

If it’s stopped, it’s parked X

It’s been another quiet period for any decent examples of ‘expert’ parking, so it was nice to almost bump into this van while ambling home recently.

If the space isn’t long enough for your van – then just use the road AND the footpath.

So long as it it’s not sticking out into the road and traffic, it’s got to be okay, hasn’t it?

This is just an observation, as there’s plenty of space here, and the telephone box behind is at least as much of a ‘hazard’. Although it’s not needed, the road planners could also have cut the road into the pavement hear, forming a parking area outside the shops, and still left wider footpath than found in most streets.

See also Barrachnie parking.

Tollcross parking

Tollcross parking

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Luss parking – seems it’s a problem

I guess I’m lucky not to be making regular visits to Luss any more – it’s ten years or more since I was able to take a run there, and it looks as if it’s not much fun these days.

I/we must have been lucky then, as it seems that 750,000 visitors are making life tough for only 120 residents, and causing parking problems in the village.

Our trips must have been at quite times, as we generally parked down at the pier, and were never crowded out by tourists, or in the way of the residents. I can even recall the arrival of the big car park, complete with charges, which we avoided like the plague, or just ‘passed through’ on a short stop.

Maybe not getting back there these days is a blessing in disguise, as we went there to enjoy the peace and quiet, and just walk around, almost alone.

This introduction to proposals regarding parking there make it seem grim, and seems to be another case of Argyll and Bute Council being at odds with locals:

PROPOSED parking measures in Luss have come under fire from the chief executive of Luss Estates who claims they do little to tackle traffic congestion.
Simon Miller hit out at recommendations by Argyll and Bute councillors to introduce parking permits in the village for residents and business owners.
However, Luss Community Council says the proposed new measures have been popular with villagers, whilst Argyll and Bute Council has stood by the consultation process.

Mr Miller said: “The proposed parking scheme does not address the fundamental issue, which is traffic congestion, not parking.

“This solution may allow Argyll and Bute Council to make money out of existing traffic, but it will do nothing whatsoever to get the traffic out of the village which is what is required.

“Luss is a small, historic village with narrow roads and no pavements, home to a tiny rural population which gets a massive influx of visitors every year.

“We welcome visitors to Luss, but it is the presence of too many cars in the heart of the village itself which is the problem.”

Luss Estates Chief Executive hits out at proposed parking measures | Helensburgh & Lomond | News | Helensburgh Advertiser

The pic below, handily from 2003 and probably around about when I had to give up the odd visit, shows a near deserted Luss on a rainy September day, and to be honest is just about as busy as I usually saw the place, so you can imagine why I was happy to park there (usually just behind that planter) and didn’t interfere with anyone.

Since I’ve never seen the congestion referred to, or anything even approaching it, I can’t even comment on either sides views, but hope they can resolve the matter without ruining the village, or penalising drivers. After all, it’s not somewhere you can just take a walk to, and while tourists might have a coach trio to get them there, as a local (ie someone from Glasgow’s east end) the hassle of using public transport to get there (and back) would just ruin a nice day.

July 11, 2015 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Police seek Falkirk dangerous parker

Hope they find this one soon – I wouldn’t like to meet this one.

Dangerous driver slams into a car and HOUSE trying to park
Is this the worst piece of parking ever? Driver makes several attempts to fit into space before swinging into reverse at high speed smashing two cars and a house
Yellow car caught on camera shunting two cars and hitting house in Falkirk
Driver appeared to lose control while attempting to parallel park in street
Car managed to get in space but lurched backwards into vehicle and house
Police now hunting driver of the car after they fled the scene of the crash
By EMMA GLANFIELD FOR MAILONLINE

Police would also like to interview this cat, later seen leaving the scene of the incident:

June 30, 2015 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked IX

This one’s a little different from the usual amusing parking attempts, since the potential for problems from this parking attempt apply to the driver, rather than pedestrians.

It’s not uncommon to see vehicles parked with one tyre only partially on the footpath, or to be perhaps a little more accurate, the kerb. I’ve been impressed/surprised to see them with only a few centimetres of their width on the kerb, yet the tyre is undistorted (makes me wonder what pressure they are inflated to). This is usually relatively harmless, with the damage to the tyre likely to arise from it being forced to ride up over the kerb to get from the road to the footpath. While this is relatively harmless if the tyre is driven slowly and straight on to the kerb (as happens when driving into an entrance), this manoeuvre is usually carried out from side, while parking parallel to the kerb, potentially nipping the tyre sidewall between the wheel and the kerb. This damage can lead to the failure of sidewall, with the potential for a sudden deflation (or blowout) at speed, or a slow deflation of the tyre if the nip causes a puncture to be made in the sidewall.

I spotted the example below while heading home one evening, and would not like to be driving this car on this tyre, which was left with the full weight of the car on the trapped sidewall.

Worse still, while I was trying to get a better pic, the jumbo sized driver added their weight (and their take-away meal) to the car, and proceeded to run the poor trapped sidewall back and forward on the kerb a couple of times before getting out of the parking space and driving away.

I dread to think what state the sidewall and internal structure were in after that treatment.

Peugeot tyre damage

Tyre damage

Peugeot tyre damage

Tyre damage

I had a fairly graphic illustration of the sort of damage this can cause a few years ago.

My company car was used as the company runabout for a time, and I did not trust the person employed for this job.

A few days after a new set of tyres had been fitted, I had to make a few long trips on business, and found that by the time I got home (and had covered over 500 miles) the car was almost undriveable above 40-50 mph, and at 70 mph I could not even read the instruments, such was the level of vibration from the steering wheel.

The car was leased, so I was able to take it to the nearest tyre outlet to have the tyres balanced, as I thought it had just thrown a balance weight.

Wrong!

After the guy tried balancing both front tyres he gave up on one and carried out a more detailed check – and found that the sidewall was broken.

I (then) didn’t understand how a rubber sidewall could even be broken, but he showed me how to manipulate it, and was able to see how it was indeed broken below the surface, just like a piece of wood. It could have blown apart at speed, which would have happened catastrophically and totally, and could have been fatal since this was a front tyre.

Since I consider my tyres to be life-critical items, I knew I hadn’t damaged this one, and had a few choice words for our temporary driver the next day, although she pleaded ignorance, and probably had no idea about how to look after tyres anyway. And there was no way I could prove it was her carelessness that ruined the tyre.

But, on another occasion, she handed me the keys and mentioned that the steering was a bit stiff, and headed for the door.

When I looked at the front tyres I found one was completely flat, and had been driven like that for so long that the rubber on the sidewalls had been completely worn off, and the tyre was a write-off.

A ‘bit stiff’ was an understatement, as that car did not have power steering, and took two hands to turn a corner with the tyre in that state.

She didn’t give a damn, and would only have wanted to get back to the office in Glasgow and hand me the keys, as she was clueless, and could not have changed the tyre.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked VIII

To be fair, this one would probably be better categorised under ‘Creative Parking’, but I don’t need (yet) another category or tag to keep track of.

This little bay at the Barrachnie light is just too small for two cars (except perhaps two small cars), and, since it borders a wide area of footpath, doesn’t cause any problems for anybody if not used ‘precisely’.

I just included it since I couldn’t recall it ever being used like this, and thought the solution to the lack of space was ‘imaginative’.

Incidentally, the grey car in the background doesn’t count as it belongs to the house behind, and stands on a slabbed area belonging to the property.

Barrachnie Parking

Barrachnie Parking

So cute, I had to include the view from the other side:

Barrachnie Parking

Barrachnie Parking

On the other hand, maybe I just wanted to include the Saab convertible. I ran one of these for a while, an odd model that came with a non-turbo 2.3 engine – just as Saab announced all their cars were going to be fitted with ‘light pressure’ turbos. I forget the year, as it had a cherished number. I’d only driven one old Saab prior to this, and hadn’t expected to like it, but it turned out to be a great driver, and quiet too, despite the (powered) soft top. Biggest surprise was fuel consumption – the worst I got it down to driving hard was 28 mpg. It was an automatic, and definitely not a slouch either

While Saab has now closed its doors and gone, production is set to resume under new masters, but there seems to be (at the time of writing) some silliness over the name or some rights, so still have to wait and see what happens.

May 25, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked VII

Haven’t seen any ‘fun’ parking on the streets for a while, so the opportunity to catch something in a local car park wasn’t to be missed, even if it was only ‘slight’.

It also comes with a photography lesson, as it was an opportunity shot, grabbed while carrying two bags filled with shopping – the original framing was terrible, but salvageable.

It also appears to show a difference between here, and the US – I follow quite a few car-related blogs originating in the US (where it seems you can still enjoy cars as a hobby and not be stigmatised by Green Loonies). Over there, although not parking between the lines in a car park is frowned on and seems to attract people who will photograph it and place the pics online… everybody seems to do it all the time. It looks as if many drivers consider the lines to be something their car is to be centred on, taking up two spaces, rather than parking between the lines.

Our example’s much more gentle (and between the lines, so our American cousins should be happy), and just shows somebody that stopped a bit early, or doesn’t know how long their car is… and stopped a bit early.

Well, it protects the front – but that rear end looks a bit vulnerable if things get busy.

Mercedes parking Lidl

Car park parking

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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