Simple Things to Make Helensburgh Better

January 26, 2006

A random selection of things I thought of that would make Helensburgh a better place. I make no claims for their practicality. But I’m trying to keep them reasonably simple and cheap. Except when they’re not.

  1. A local weather station. Well, why not? The reason I thought of this one was because I’m trying out a new application, Seasonality (Spotted by Gus Mueller). The app lets you see weather forecasts and other geegaws climatic in a rather nice (but space inefficient) window. The nearest stations I could get to Helensburgh were Prestwick, and er Kilmory. Not very near. Plus it would be kind of neat.

  2. Bus Stops Up Sinclair Street. Actually, quite a few buses now run up Sinclair Street. There’s those ones to Alexandria for instance. They’re very lightly loaded, but getting better. It would be cool to have a few specific bus stops on Sinclair Street for them. I suggest;

    • By Hermitage Park
    • At Helensburgh Upper Station
    • At the road end for the Hill House
    • At the road end for Glen Fruin and the Old Luss Road

    Later on we could even have a few extra buses running to places north, like Luss and Arrochar, providing a regular interval service into the National Park… but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

  3. While we’re on the subject, Park and Ride at Helensburgh Upper Station. There’s a “commuter train” that leaves Helensburgh Upper at 0742. It starts from Arrochar and Tarbet. I have no idea how popular it is. The lack of an upper line return before the 1820 from Glasgow can’t help, I suspect.

    Apparently, about half of the working population of the town commute to Glasgow, or at least away from Helensburgh. A lot of people live in Upper Helensburgh. The morning peak trains from Helensburgh Central are essentially full. An awful lot of people still drive to work from Helensburgh. A lot of people choke up the parking around Helensburgh Central by parking there all day. Why not provide them with an alternative closer to home?

    However. If you go up to Rossdhu Drive, which runs along the south side of the railway cutting, you’ll notice a particularly wide and resplendent grass verge. Plenty wide enough to cut quite a few parking spaces into. For things to take off would probably need at least a decently timed return working (1730 or so?), but the initial experiment would be cheap enough. And the potential benefits, in terms of public transport and town centre car-congestion, could be huge.

  4. A side trail to the West Highland Way starting at the Upland Walk behind the Hill House.

    I’ve long thought this would be a good idea. Lets face it, we’ve reached Rhu already. It would help promote Helensburgh as a secondary centre for exploring the National Park from. Which would be a Good Idea. Can you say “green tourism”? And it would be a pretty nice walk too…

    All right, it would be pretty expensive. But creating an outline plan needn’t be…

  5. Better Organised Helensburgh-on-the-Internet. Helensburgh doesn’t have much of an Internet presence. It would be nice if it did. For instance, there appear to be two competing local portal/directory sites, helensburgh.info and g84.org. Frankly neither of them have much content, look very nice, or are particularly easy to use. Or are particularly up to date.

    Oh, actually there’s three. There’s also helensburgh.co.uk. Talk about balkanised.

    Then there’s my zombie Helensburgh Community Council site. Not my responsibility any more, but it certainly doesn’t make a good impression. Actually, there’s a new site, I’m told. Can’t find it on Google though. (Update, 24/3/2006; it’s there now, at hcc.freeola.com)

    What I’d like to see–and I know this would be difficult to achieve and a lot of work to maintain, after all, I’ve had to update this post three times to correct HTML mistakes in the last five minutes…–is a single, good, well designed (i.e. looks good in Safari!) Helensburgh site, up to date, with a good, inclusive community. That would be cool.

  6. Lights along the promenade and in Kidston Park. Let’s face it, it’s basically dark half the year. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use the Front and Kidston Park during that half of the year? Combine that with a modern, architecturally interesting building at Kidston, and suddenly Helensburgh’s seafront becomes a more attractive place to be, in both halves of the year. But I have enough thoughts on that to fill at least another post. Later, later…

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