Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Hope there isn’t a fire at the Coats Observatory refurb

Being from Glasgow, known by some as Tinderbox City, and mindful of the Mackintosh Building’s fate (not to mention a number of other Sauchiehall Street buildings in recent times), I couldn’t really ignore this photo opportunity that developed in Paisley, as I was taking pics of the old Coats Observatory building, currently being refurbished.

The van driver just pulled up, locked the van, and disappeared into the flats on the left.

Oakshaw Street Fire Path

Oakshaw Street West Fire Path

I’m not going to pass any comment, just zoom into the sign on the left.

Oakshaw Street West Sign

Oakshaw Street West Sign

23/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch out! Sunday parking charging comes to Glasgow on 30 June – with Update

Since I’ve already been priced off the road, this has no relevance for me.

But, I can add it to an ever growing list of things from my past which have been taken away, and can no longer be enjoyed.

It was inevitable, along with the increasing radius of the ‘parking charge’ catchment area which has slowly grown over the years.

It never really bothered me.

If I had to work in Glasgow, then my expenses (ie the customer) paid for any parking charges I incurred, and I either went into Glasgow during the evenings and weekends when such charges were once not applicable outwith the working day.

In fact, one of the two parking tickets I was ever given appeared on my car on a Saturday evening, around 17:00, which was particularly irritating as it was issued in a street I used to park in every week – because parking restrictions didn’t apply after 13:00 on Saturdays. The overzealous traffic warden guilty of this heinous wrongdoing had actually ticketed every car sitting in West Nile Street, either ignoring the applicable times, or had failed to check the sign, and assumed ‘Working Day’ times applied to this street.

I did indeed return the ticket with a complaint.

They not only cancelled the ticket…

Some time later I noticed they cut down the pole that carried the sign which gave the parking restriction times!

I’ve got a pic of the stub, as I was so amazed at what was done. Unfortunately, it was so long ago, that pic’s on film, not digital.

This is roughly the same spot today – where they have now restored the pole, so they can display restrictions 🙂

Blue Lagoon West Nile Street

West Nile Street

MOTORISTS face Sunday parking charges in Glasgow City Centre from Sunday 30 June.

Glasgow City Council say the new regulations will make on-street parking more frequently available to shoppers, visitors, tourists, blue badge holders and residents on Sundays.

The council add that improved parking regulations are known to reduce congestion and this in turn should improve air quality in the city centre.

Under the new measures, a number of taxi ranks will be extended or introduced across the city centre to provide further alternative options for people travelling to and from town.

Signage that highlights the new measures is being installed across the city centre but enforcement will not start until Sunday 30 June.

GLASGOW City Council Announce Sunday Parking Charge Start Date

Even the BBC noticed.

Free Sunday parking in Glasgow city centre to be scrapped

Free parking in Glasgow city centre on Sundays to end

Of course, this needs to be given time to see if it has any effect on anything.

But it is interesting to reflect on other stories which can be found in the media relating to the claims of ‘Death of the High Street’.

And the approach by other cities where they have chosen to ADD free parking periods in order to attract shoppers at certain times.


Something of a revelation.

This move was implemented WITHOUT an environmental report being prepared into its effects.

I’m genuinely surprised by this admission, as this sort of presumptive and “We KNOW we are right” implantation is something I was used to seeing come from the previous council, not the present, which has surprised me by the way it has been taking such things as relevant reports, studies, analyses, and local views into account BEFORE doing what amounts to little more than issuing a decree.

Glasgow City Council received more than 600 objections to new parking charges which come into effect next week, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Data obtained from the council shows strong objections from people in Glasgow, while also suggesting that no study into the environmental advantages of the new rules was carried out.

The council received 649 letters of objection over plans in the city centre, with just six notes of support from the public.

The council announced the commencement of Sunday charges for June 30 last night, saying it was as a result of “recent consultation on measures to reduce city centre congestion on a Sunday.”

They added: “The new measures aim to encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transport, including buses, trains, cycling and walking. In turn this should improve air quality in the city centre.”

However, it was also revealed that the council did not produce a report into the potential environmental advantages of new parking charges, instead consulting their Environmental Sustainable Glasgow Team.

Responding to questions posed in the Freedom of Information request, the council said: “No environmental reports were carried out.

“However, the Council’s Environmental Sustainable Glasgow Team were consulted on the proposals.

Glasgow City Council pushes forward with Sunday parking charge without environmental report

It will be interesting to see if there is now any fallout from this reveal, or if it is just ignored and the charges are introduced regardless, with no further comment.

21/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

More info suggests ‘Bus stop collision conspiracy’ might not be

I thought I’d collect a pic of the front of yesterday’s ‘featured’ car, just to show it was damaged since it was visible in that pic, but not obvious.

2011 Vauxhal Corsa [SH11 GVR]

2011 Vauxhal Corsa [SH11 GVR]

But the real interest was something I spotted as I stoated (now I’ve lost those who don’t speak Glaswegian) aff the bus later in the day.

The first thing I noticed from that position was some dreadful parking.

I seriously simply cannot understand how anybody can do this, and just leave. I couldn’t. Ever!

If they don’t know they’ve done it, and it should be obvious, then they should lose their licence as they are danger to others.

At least it’s not underinflated – I’ve seen a lot of cars parked like this with tyres that severely underinflated, and the sidewall is trapped and crushed between the wheel rim and the kerb. That’s got to be blowout/failure in the making.

Risky parking tyre stress

Risky parking tyre stress

However, things got more interesting as I collected myself and realised the car the tyre was fitted to was familiar, seen recently in Oops! Was that there when I went out?

Same car, looking brand new and in the same place as spotted before.

Not hard to remember that registration.

Nice and shiny from the body shop – and being abused.

2017 Toyota Yaris [E1 HYP]

2017 Toyota Yaris [E1 HYP]

So, I guess this maybe (but not necessarily) busts my thoughts about some odd accidents happening here.

The red car might have been dropped here after being recovered.

Granted, unlikely. A recovery would usually drop the job at the body shop.

But it might explain why I didn’t see it a few hours earlier, if it simply wasn’t there.

What I didn’t notice, or look for, was wreckage on the ground, as could be seen around the white car.

Oh well…

I suppose I’ll just have to watch for any more wrecks appearing.

I did arrive very early for the bus today, and watch quite a lot of cars using this junction.

Not one of them suggested any obvious ‘misjudgment’ that would give offside corners collision damage, so that’s something else I might keep watching.

30/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Why no secure ‘Bike Parks’ similar to ‘Car Parks’

While it’s nice to see Glasgow City Council continue to defy activists who claim it’s not doing anything (or maybe enough) for cyclists, with news that some £250,000 is to be spent installing fifty storage units (secure on-street cycle lock-ups for residents to store their bikes) in parts of the city where tenements and flats are predominant, I’m going to put my ‘Grumpy Hat’ on and say that this marks a missed opportunity.

Glasgow has something in store for cyclists living the high life

I’ve read a few articles on this subject over the past few months, and have been disappointed every time.

While I’m obviously pleased for the residents concerned, my gripe is that there’s no similar option for anyone wanting to leave their bike on the street.

We have to lug around decent chains and locks if we want to be reasonably sure our bikes will be where we left them, and strip them of any easily removed accessories lest they vanish when we’re not there.

Somebody is missing a business opportunity, with the equivalent of a car park for bikes.

There was an attempt on Dragons’ Den a couple of years ago, but mistakes were made.

Dragons’ Den firm’s £4,000 street bike lockers installed in Exeter city centre

But that’s not the point – what matters is that others were interested (and the guy didn’t really try, as he really just wanted to get on TV).

They’ve installed their storage at a library.

We’ve also got storage at a library, Glasgow Women’s Library in Bridgeton.

Glasgow Women's Library Secure Bike Storage

Glasgow Women’s Library Secure Bike Storage

I’m guessing this example, from Partick, is for residents.

Secure bike storage Partick

Secure bike storage Partick

So, I’m no longer in any sort of business, don’t have any funding, so all I can do is make the point that there’s probably a nice business opportunity for someone who want to take the chance and get onto this early.

After all, we’re continually being told bike ownership and use is only going to increase, so it’s not a great stretch of the imagination to see that there will be opportunities, especially as some bike owners are daft enough to be parted from many thousands of pounds for their bikes, they should be easy touches for a few quid for safe storage 😉

My bike may only be worth a few hundred, but I can’t afford to lose that, and have spent just about as much on security.


Local media eventually noticed…

On-street bike parking scheme to be launched across Glasgow

27/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, 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

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

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