The Anonymous Widower

Stance Or Stand?

I was surprised at the use of stance for where I would use stand at Buchanan Street bus station.

Stance Or Stand?

Stance Or Stand?

I’ve always felt that signs like these need an International or European standard.

London rarely makes any difference between an ordinary bus stop or a stand, where they wait before perhaps returning along the route. Londoners probably call every one a bus stop, but then they’ve had the same sign all my life.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

From Glasgow Green To George Square

I then walked from the very crowded Glasgow Green via Glasgow Cross to George Square and eventually Queen Street station to meet my friend.

Note how the railway viaduct threads its way through the city.



July 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

A Lost Ulster Bus

The title says it all.

A Lost Ulster Bus

A Lost Ulster Bus

Just as London brought in buses from Scotland for the Olympics, I suspect Glasgow needs all the buses it can scrounge

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

Walking Along The Clyde

Is there any other river that is commonly used as a person’s name? I’ve never heard of anybody called Mississippi, Amazon, Nile or Rhine. Not even a child of a celebrity!

I walked along the river to Glasgow Green from Central station.

As with many cities, it has a varied collection of bridges.

It was also extraordinarily sunny. A couple of people were sunbathing by the river. Later in the day, I saw a young lady walking around the city centre wearing a mini skirt, high-heeled sandals and a small bikini top. The weather was just that good!

Note the pictures of the derelict Ladies Waiting Room. There’a a lot more about it here in a blog called Lost Womyn’s Space.

I was also impressed by the City Union Bridge and St. Enoch Viaduct, which could in future be part of Glasgow Crossrail.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Reasons To Go Virgin Or East Coast

I went up to the Commonwealth Games on the 08:30 Virgin out of Euston arriving on time at 13:01 give or take a minute or so.

The best thing about going Virgin before 09:00, is that you get a proper breakfast, which includes a gluten-free option. I had plenty of tea, some delicious scrambled egg and smoked salmon and a glass of juice.

I didn’t get my gluten-free roll though!

As I was meeting someone in Glasgow, who’d come through from Edinburgh, I could have gone up with East Coast and then across to Glasgow with her.

But it would have meant an earlier start and I had to see the builders.

I think it’s true to say that if you’re going to Glasgow or Edinburgh from London, it’s probably better to go direct. But even so, the distance between the two big Scottish cities isn’t great, with the fastest trains taking between fifty minutes and an hour.

So as Virgin run twenty trains a day up the West Coast and East Coast run eighteen and the fastest trains take about the same four hours sand a bit, it’s very much a case of you pays your money and takes your choice.

The trains are different with Virgin running tilting Class 390 trains and non-tiliting diesel InterCity 125 and electric Inter City 225 trains. My preference is for the non-tilting trains.

The only certain thing is that in the next few years, train routes between England and Glasgow and Edinburgh will gain more capacity and will get faster.

As an example, over the last year, Transpennine Express has introduced new faster Class 350 electric trains to and from Manchester. I thought I heard several northern families in Glasgow, who looked like day trippers up for the Games.

A Transpennine Class 350 In Glasgow

A Transpennine Class 350 In Glasgow

So is this illustrative of how fast, comfortable, high-capacity railways change our lives?

The biggest changed will be Network Rail moving to in-cab signalling, which will allow running over 200 kph on both the West and East Coast Main Lines. This could bring the journey time from London to Scotland much closer to the magic four hours, using the current trains.

When I went to Edinburgh recently by easyJet, security problems meant that I took five and a half hour from my home to Edinburgh city centre. So a four hour journey will be fast enough to give the planes a run for their money. But not everybody goes between London and the major Scottish cities and possibly the biggest beneficiaries of a faster service will be those who have easy access to intermediate stations like York, Peterborough, Preston and Carlisle.

The biggest problem will be track and train capacity on the East and West Coast routes. On the West Coast, there will probably be a further increase in the Class 390 fleet and on the East Coast the Class 800 and 801 are coming.

As with so much on Britain’s railways, the elephant-in-the-room is freight, which is increasing substantially. So will we see extra routes and tracks opened up to held the freight through, just like we have with the GNGE between Doncaster and Peterborough via Lincoln. Of course, we will!

Perhaps, in Scotland, we might even see the return of freight to a Waverley line extended to Carlisle.

Then there is the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Program, a project that seems to have lost its way a bit recently. But the main aim of getting about a dozen services every hour between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with some taking just over half-an-hour must be a goal for Scotland.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easing London’s Housing Crisis

It’s now four years since I bought this house.

It had been built rather badly by a company called Back Street Developments about ten years ago and there seemed to be no NHBRC registration for it. In the intervening years the previous owners had put tenants in, and they had done there best to wreck it. The owner obviously skimped on maintenance, but then all these facts were reflected in the price I paid.

Some time ago, I started to get the house straight. Finding a builder has been a nightmare!

The first builder walked away from the job after personality clashes between the owner and his work-force, leaving me without a bathroom.

I’ve got one coming in fom outside London, things seem a bit better.

An illustration of the problem is that people locally are always asking, if I know a good builder. I also want to sort my dreadful kitchen. I have asked several companies to look at it and not one has ever made a fixed appointment or even turned up.

I suspect that kitchen companies would prefer to fit out some multi-millionaire’s house in Mayfair, rather than my small kitchen.

I do wonder how many properties are not lived in, as the owners are waiting for a builder to sort it out. And how many people are put off downsizing, as theycan’t be bothered to go through all the hassle of finding a builder.

So if we sorted out the refurbishment of small and medium sized properties, would we release more properties for occupation?

The first thing we should do is to seriously analyse the homes market and identify why properties are empty or under-occupied!

Any soutions we propose should of course be nationwide, as I don’t believe this is just a London problem.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

No Contactless Bank Cards On The Emirates Air-Line

When I rode the Emirates Air-Line, I topped up my Oyster and I asked one of the guys there, if come September, I could use a contactless bank card.

No! As they’re not part of Transport for London.

Come on! That would surely incease ridership, as anybody could just turn up and go!

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

Do We Really Want The Barking In Parliament?

This story about astrology from the BBC annoys me immensely. Here’s the start of it.

A Conservative MP has spoken of his belief in astrology and his desire to incorporate it into medicine.

David Tredinnick said he had spent 20 years studying astrology and healthcare and was convinced it could work.

The MP for Bosworth, a member of the health committee and the science and technology committee, said he was not afraid of ridicule or abuse.

Let’s face it Hitler was reportedly a believer in astrology.

At a minimum the MP must be removed from the Science and Technology Committee.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment