Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

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 in Trongate 🙂

Gridlocked Glasgow Trongate

Gridlocked Glasgow Trongate


Jan 17, 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.


May 2, 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).



Jan 5, 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.

Aug 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.

Jun 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!

Jun 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

Apr 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

Mar 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

Oct 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.

Jul 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

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

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

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