Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

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.


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

If it’s stopped, it’s parked VI

Not much that need to be said at this attempt.

Fully on the footpath and blocking any possibility of a wheelchair user or a pram getting past, they’d have to take to the road, which is a busy main road – and sports (worn out) double yellow lines.

To the left, and not immediately obvious from the pic (it looks as if the footpath just carries on at the same level, but it doesn’t), is a drop of more than 6-inches down into the Tesco Extra car park.

The car park fills up fairly quickly, especially since the other shop units (out of sight to the left) were occupied, but that’s still no excuse for inconsiderate or illegal parking.

I could probably collect a clutch of similar pics on a daily basis, but usually pass when it is quieter (and darker) at night, otherwise it would be like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.

Baillieston Ford parking

Baillieston Ford parking

April 20, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Wonderful Edinburgh lady taxi driver

I have something of a soft spot for Edinburgh taxi drivers – the mush some of them have for brains, and their ability to get their colleagues a bad name.

I like to give them a wide berth and stay away from them, as the few I get close to are usually not very nice.

Probably the worst example I encountered was when trying to park just across from the Government offices in Spittal St/Castle Terrace, where the building has a pair of relief panels mounted above its doorways.

I had just pulled up and started to reverse into a single parking space, the rest of the traffic had been obliging and passed me with no problems, yet when a black cab came along the road – the driver chose to drive right up against the back of my car (as I was reversing, complete with white reversing lamps illuminated) and just sat there sounding his horn, giving the appearance that I had somehow forced him to stop and was about to back into him.

I’ve no idea what provoked this response from this particular driver of a black cab, but he just sat there with his hand on the horn button, and ignored me waving him past. As he was an inch from the back of my car, and had brought the traffic behind him to a halt, there was little I could do other than drive on… or get out and confront him. The latter was not going to happen, since he was clearly deranged. Maybe he was jealous of my car and just wanted to wind up the driver.

Since that day, I’ve never given an Edinburgh taxi driver a break. If they’re stuck in traffic or trying to get out of a jam, then they do it behind me, after I’ve passed.

That was a few years ago, but I see they’re no better, and the supposedly better female versions seems to suffer from the same attitude problem too.

Lady taxi driver blocks trams to have lunch

There’s been some media coverage of a stupid female driver of a black cab in Edinburgh who decided her meal was more important than the free flow of the rest of Edinburgh’s traffic – must have been related to the clown I was unfortunate enough to meet.

She parked on the tram route and headed into a fast food (so now we know how much she cares about her guts) outlet, and waited inside, blocking the route for about 10 minutes according to witnesses.

Amazingly, instead of running away embarrassed at her demonstration of brainlessness, she simply pulled a U-turn and parked on the opposite side of the road, blocking the route on that side of the street.

The media published the pics of this brain-dead behaviour with the registration number blanked out, but the pic is available online with the number in plain sight.

See Hungry cabbie brings Edinburgh’s tram system to a standstill | Deadline News

So why did they obscure it? It’s in the public domain, as seen below:

Taxi locks Edinburgh trams

Taxi blocks Edinburgh trams

Pic credit to Cabbie makes Big Mac-stake – Edinburgh’s Worst Drivers

April 5, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked V

Good job it wasn’t wet’n’windy or I’d have had my head down and been straight into this one, abandoned completely on the pavement. Even so, it was a close thing as I generally walk home on autopilot.

I say ‘abandoned’ deliberately because having consulted various responses from the police, some categorically state that parking on the pavement is an offence, while others refer to the act of driving over the footpath as being the offence. If they can’t agree, then I can’t do any better.

Unless I maybe take the time to dig up the relevant acts for myself… maybe one day.

What would be more interesting would be to think about those double yellow lines, which make parking at any time an offence.

While it would be easy to say that provided any part of the car was standing on the road (as opposed to the pavement) means the driver has committed an offence, does this still apply when no part of the vehicle is on the road itself, or even touching it.

Does the footpath or pavement count as part of the road?

Does the general application of road legislation for a distance of 15 feet to either side of a public road come into play in this sort of case, so the offence of parking on double yellow lines can not be circumvented by parking a fraction to one side of them?

Not sure which law applies the 15 foot extension, or if it has been modified in recent years, another thing I should check. But I know there have been changes, which now allow the police to act when dangerous driving is carried out on private land just off the road, or in places such as supermarket car parks, where ‘boy races’ think they can drift and do burnouts without worrying about road laws. Previously, the hooligan element was able to avoid the law simply by getting off the road, so the law was changed.

Shettleston Peugot parking

Almost, but not quite, fallen over one night

January 14, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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