Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

Long overdue car-free zones around schools appear

It may only be a trial and it may only be aimed at a few primary schools, but it’s good to see action being taken against the dreadful behaviour of those who feel the need to wrap their ‘little darlings’ in yet more cotton wool, and carry/collect from the school gates.

While there are plenty of parents who have good reason to drive their offspring to/from school, I strongly suspect they are NOT the problem ones. Those who travel a significant distance, or do this on their way to work are probably not likely to be the ones I always see, and are there half an hour, or more, before the school empties.

I base that, in part at least, from the behaviour I encounter at a nearby primary school, which I now avoid of at all possible if I have to go out around school run times.

Some years ago I made the mistake of not realising the time of day and turned down one of the side streets around the school. Half way down this street I met one moronic parent who dropped their load, and thought they could reverse out of the street, WITHOUT BOTHERING TO LOOK BEHIND!

Why should they?

Their kid was safe in front of them. What would it matter of they mowed down somebody else’s child stupid enough to be on the road behind them?

Instead, they backed into the front of my car, since I had nowhere to go and couldn’t reverse since I had another vehicle behind me.

I won’t even start on the moronic conversation I had with the driver, who tried to blame me since I was the one driving forward, should have seen them, and taken avoiding action. They really couldn’t even understand that I was stationary, and they were the one moving  that hit me. I should add that this was a white van with NO rear windows in the back doors, so they COULDN’T see behind!

Hopefully, this will just be the start of a wider exclusion program, even if the poor little babies maybe have to walk as much as 100 metres, and need to spend most of their day at school sleeping, to recover from the unusual effort.

Glasgow primary schools to trial car-free zones

Funnily enough, I’d just grabbed a pic at the school to show how the inconsiderate parents arrive early to get the ‘Prime Parking Spot’ just opposite the school gate area where they can’t park, but making a narrow road even narrower (blocking it so only one car can pass along at a time) and sit smoking, or playing with mobile phones.

Alternatively, they can park on the fairly narrow pavement, and block that instead – we actually do have a few people in this street who get around using wheelchairs, and the path is not a lot wider than that.

School No Stopping

School No Stopping

Or – sitting with their engines idling!

No Idling

No Idling

I bet they’d all claim to be 100% law-abiding too, while shouting down anyone who dared ask them why they had to be right at the school gates.

School Street

School Street

Sad to say, my interest in car registrations means I know where many of the cars parked here ‘live’, as the numbers stick in my head just from seeing them so often, so I know they have come from places that are only about 10-15 minutes to walk to. (Not saying all, just those I happen to recognise by chance.)

15/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Friendly Glasgow sign

One of those irritating pics as I can’t quite recall exactly where it is.

I’m pretty sure it’s a slightly obscure side or back street around Parkhead, where quite a few business are ever so slightly ticked off on match days at a nearby football ground, when ‘fans’ park their cars on any bit of ground not protected by yellow paint – and the wealthy ones just ignore that anyway.

Rather than try ‘polite’ requests to protect their ground and property, many owners have resorted to the simple expedient of earth barriers or mounds around the perimeter. A foot or two high (less than a metre, or enough to beach a 4×4 or SUV that might try to drive over) and these  blocks most vehicles, and makes it hard for anyone not invited onto the land to argue that they didn’t realise they were somewhere they were not invited to be.

Others, and property agents, have recently added metal fences and gates to secure what many may see simply as ‘spare ground’.

Private property towing sign

Private property towing sign

02/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Do I move around in a different Glasgow from everyone else?

I’ve already made few recent posts about how fed up I am seeing whining cycling activists/campaigners moan about non-existent gridlock and aggressive motorists in Glasgow, and now see the council is proposing to end free parking on Sundays, supposedly to deal with a lack of available spaces which in turn causes congestion and brings an unnecessary level of pollution to the area.

I must live in a different Glasgow from all those people.

Free parking spaces could be axed on Sundays in Glasgow

Plans to scrap free street parking in the city centre on Sundays – here’s what you need to know

Apart from the run-up to Christmas and the sales, when the streets got a little busier, I like getting into Glasgow (by bike, if that’s not clear) on Sundays as the place is even quieter than it is during the week.

I have to be clear that while I’ve not driven into Glasgow for some years now, I still watch the roads for changes, and if there are parking problems, then I strongly doubt it is down to the number of cars.

I’ve noted controlled (ie PAY for it) parking spaces creep into areas, and onto streets, where there were no restrictions in the past.

I’ve also noted numerous places which USED to have parking bays no longer have them.

In many cases, these just disappeared, to be replaced by areas marked for disabled or blue badge holders, but even those vanished later, to be replaced by yellow line (which blue badge holders can often still park on).

What I’m saying is that I may be more observant than many, and while most people don’t watch these changes, I see what would now be described as ‘Stealth Tactics’ being employed in order to introduce changes in small, almost imperceptible steps, to suit various policies.

I’m not suggesting this is necessarily a bad thing, as it can make transitions smoother by avoiding large, or step, changes.

However, I do find it objectionable if these are misrepresented as changes being brought about by traffic and congestion problems, which I simply don’t see on Glasgow’s streets – an observation I make as someone who cycles on them.

Nor would I suggest there is NEVER any congestion, or any problems – just that this is not the norm, or only appears at peak traffic time, which is surely to be expected.

I don’t think I’ll even bother commenting about the crazy pollution claims being made nowadays.

Frankly, they make about as much sense as the claims (by some) that hundreds of thousands of people died after Chernobyl, which is sheer speculation, as opposed to the actual documented number (which is 35 if you have never checked). Realistically, taking into account the spread of radiation, statistics suggest an additional 40,000 cancer deaths, but that’s by 2065. By then millions of people will have died of cancer that has nothing to do with Chernobyl.

I’d much rather the council just came clean and stated clear and simple policies on driving cars out of the city, or that it just wants to milk the motorist for cash 7 days a week.

Of course, the problem with that would probably be outrage from shops, and hassle for the council.

Christmas peak hour evening  traffic in Trongate 🙂

Gridlocked Glasgow Trongate

Gridlocked Glasgow Trongate

17/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Smart car parking done right – and Helensburgh council finds another scam to screw drivers

There isn’t a great quantity of Smart cars around here, and I doubt if I’ve even seen more than one or two actually being driven.

The vast majority seem to be parked up nearly all the time.

I did look at buying one… once.

Unfortunately, my thrifty (mean) Scottish appreciation of the value for money couldn’t really match the amount of car I could get for the amount of money expended, and while I fully understand the size is not really a defining factor, I could get more for the same money by buying something else.

It’s a shame this doesn’t quite stack, if they could bring the price down it would be a handy option.


The idea of the Smart includes ‘end on parking’ to make better use of parking space.

But I’ve seldom seen it done.

However, one of my local owners has been kind enough to give the chance of a ‘proper’ example of Smart parking.

2014 Smart Fortwo Grandstyle [K3PPU]

2014 Smart Fortwo Grandstyle [K3PPU]

Here’s a thought…

Traffic wardens have now discovered they can issue penalty tickets, apparently enforceable, for cars that are not fully within a marked parking bay.

This usually means that either the nose or tail is outside the marked bay.

Given that a Smart car parked as seen above would clearly be inside the length of a bay, it would extend past the WIDTH of a bay.

How would that be treated?

I am being serious, after this report from Helensburgh, in a FREE car park!

A FURIOUS driver has hit out at the “depths of rottenness” Argyll and Bute Council has stooped to after he was hit with a £30 parking penalty in a free car park.

The Helensburgh driver was given a ticket after leaving his car in the “free section” of the car park at Helensburgh’s pier head.

The man, who has asked not to be named, said he was left in disbelief when the warden on duty at the time told him he was being penalised because his car wheels were outwith the bay markings.

The driver told the Advertiser: “You have to pay for the front section of the car park, but there is a sign stating clearly that beyond a certain point there is no charge and that’s where I parked.

“You don’t expect to have to pay a fine in a free car park.”

However, the council say he was guilty of contravention 86 – “parked beyond the bay markings”.

Driver’s rage at £30 fine in free Helensburgh car park

I used to use that same car park.


I’m beginning to be glad I’ve been priced off the road nowadays – at least I’m no longer a rolling ‘Piggy Bank’ for any authority that wants its coffers topped up.


02/05/2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Parking? Legislation? Enforcement?

I must clear some old stuff I have cluttering my desktop, which has been trapped there by lack of time, or other developments not in my control. Just saying this in case some stuff seems really odd – compared to usual oddness.

I keep looking at this damned image I created almost exactly a year ago to the day, which was inspired by spotting the scene in a local street, and being very irritated by some people who want to waste everybody’s time by creating MORE parking laws.

As usual, I expect to be misrepresented, since I am (apparently) actively failing to support people who (claim to) want to ensure free passage for pedestrian, pram-pushers, and wheelchair users (it’s great to be able to claim to be standing up for those groups, isn’t it).

But the sad reality is that we ALREADY have an assortment of laws governing parking, and even when vehicles may or may not be on the footpath.

The problem is not a LACK of legislation, but a failure to enforce what we already have.

Having more/new laws introduced may allow some smug activist to stand up and say “LOOK WHAT I DID!”.

But it will NOT improve anything as they will not have improved enforcement, or advice.

Like 90 out of 100 people driving with a mobile phone in their hand while driving, only the 10 who are caught are affected by the law, and things carry on just as before, no matter how the law is toughened.

In this case, we have very narrow streets in this community, even though it was designed in the 1960s and built in the 1970s.

Despite this, most folk manage to get on and make it work.

Normally, as per the car on the left and bus on the right, residents use the pavement(usually after their drives are filled), which still only leaves enough space for traffic on the road to move in single file.

Imagine if tough new legislation confiscated vehicles or imprisoned drivers unless they parked with all four wheels on the road.

Thanks to the road planners and designers, there would be no space, unless more legislation was brought in to enforce parking on one side of the road only.

The only time we tend to see any real difficulties here are not from selfish residents (and there are sadly some), but when traders, delivery drivers, and visitors arrive, as per the white van on the left (a stranger who I would happily see being issued with a fine for blocking almost the whole width of the footpath – driver has parked facing oncoming traffic, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, and has not even been considerate enough to fold in his mirror, thereby effectively blocking the WHOLE footpath for some) and the lorry at centre rear, but I wouldn’t want to see him fined for just doing his job in difficult circumstances – he will be gone after a short delay.

I guess I’m just saying ‘Knee Jerk Legislation’ is not a solution. Ever. (Then again, ever seen a politician think?)

In fact, as a solution, it’s about as useful as our local MP making an appearance and knocking on doors at election time, then vanishing again. (I’m not kicking our local MP, who is accessible, I just find the ‘meet and greet’ aspect during elections to be a laughable and pointless custom).



05/01/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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.

12/08/2017 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.

19/06/2017 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!

16/06/2017 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

27/04/2017 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

17/03/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

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