Archive for the 'transport' Category

Some Suggestions for Bumper Stickers

October 5, 2010








Do you like golf?

July 13, 2008

If you do you may have been at the Loch Lomond Open which just finished here in, well, Loch Lomond. Well,not in Loch Lomond, but near it. If you were here, or are thinking of coming next year, can I make a few suggestions?

  • Please don’t drive there. There’s a proper link bus from Balloch station now. Lots and lots of people drive to this tournament, and the A82 fills up extremely quickly. Quite why you need to drive to somewhere where you’re going to walk about all day is a mystery to me.
  • If you must drive there, consider not using the A82. There’s not one but two viable alternative routes to and from the golf course, through Helensburgh, or through Helensburgh via the Glen Fruin haul road. They’re both attractive drives, and given that the A82 is full of parked cars during this event, will probably be quicker. In particular, don’t start driving towards Helensburgh then turn left at Crosskeys back towards the A82, because that’s stupid and won’t work.
  • If you insist on going via the A82, please, whatever you do, don’t get impatient.  I drive to work daily past Cameron House, and on every single trip during this tournament I have been forced to brake very suddenly by impatient people suddenly driving onto the road in front of me from junctions. To slightly rephrase that, I’ve nearly died at least four times in the last three days, and it’s getting a little trying.
  • If you are a motorcyclist, either going to the golf or trying to get round the parked cars, please consider driving on your own side of the road. I’ve lost count of the number of bikers slipping up the traffic dangerously wide on unsighted bends, and that’s frankly trying as well.

There you go. Personally I detest golf. But I’ve tried to be polite. If you must go and watch this absurd sport, please have a little consideration for the people who live and work in the area and have to use that horrible road every day.

buses, etc.

August 27, 2007

You can of course, if you wish, take the little tourist “trains” that run through the streets of Sunny Beach. But be warned, each of them runs a relatively short route, and it costs 2 leva a leg. And what they lack in suspension they more than make up for in speed.

Better to use the real buses on the main road through the resort. They run quarter hourly from Sunny Beach to Sv. Vlas from 0600 to 2400 or so, and a ticket costs 0.90 lev. You just ask for the number of tickets you want, not where you want to go. SB to Nesabur is 0.70lev.

Also you have fairly regular services to Elenite, Kosharitsa, and so on.

From the bus station, there’s buses to Varna, Burgas, Sozopol, Sliven, and even direct to Sofia. Which is maybe not surprising in retrospect.

And there are many other buses whizzing around, including free ones to and from the water parks, tour operators, etc.

[Posted under the “late but why not” rule]

dangerous and dangerous

September 29, 2006

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Dangerous roads upgrade urged

Campaigners have launched a petition calling for Scotland’s “most dangerous” roads to be upgraded.
TRANSform Scotland has also branded the Scottish Tories “liars and hypocrites” for demanding the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

Of course, there are dangerous roads, badly designed roads, roads with inadequate capacity, too few signs (or in a few cases far too many). One of them is the A82, just over the hill from me. There are regular fatal crashes. Why could this be? Is it a dangerous road? Is it difficult to drive along?

Well, no. The section from Balloch to Tarbet anyway, is wide, and well laid out. You can get on the highway and basically sit there at 60 mph, admiring the view, turning the wheel occasionally. There are exactly two places between the Helensburgh turn-off and Tarbert where you have to slow down a little.

So why exactly are there so many crashes? Well, A82 is fast, but it is not straight. You sail elegantly around many many bends as Loch Lomond whizzes by to the side. So unfortunately, there are very few overtaking opportunities. And as it’s a well laid out road, it’s perfectly possible to drive down it at very high speed, in perfect “safety”, until you come around the last bend—and encounter someone trying to overtake!

And this is why I have very little patience with the “dangerous” roads lobby. Because the problem (these days) is, in the main, dangerous drivers. The UK may be the safest in Europe for road safety, but around 3,000 people a year still lose their lives. Improve the roads, sure, but unless people improve their driving, it will be an complete waste of time.

BBC NEWS | UK | Ryanair issues luggage ultimatum

August 18, 2006

BBC NEWS | UK | Ryanair issues luggage ultimatum

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “The best way to defeat terrorists and extremists is for ordinary people to continue to live their lives as normal.

“Because of the additional security restrictions imposed by the government last Thursday, the shambles at the London airports has been anything but normal.”

Well, it’s not often I find myself agreeing with Michael O’Leary, but I must say it was refreshing to watch him having a good rant on News 24 this morning.

Down with those six year old terrorists, that what I say.

NBC: Disagreement over timing of arrests

August 14, 2006

NBC: Disagreement over timing of arrests – Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit –

–spotted via, via

In contrast to previous reports, one senior British official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

If this is the case, the utter nonsense that’s been going on in British airports for the last few days has been entirely pointless. There are no liquid bombers out there to look out for, and no other groups with immediate plans to immolate an airliner.

People have been separated from their iPods and books for no reason whatsoever. I personally find the idea of someone trying to lever the back of their iPod to use the battery to blow something up utterly hilarious: a phone battery is far more accessible.

And the Home Secretary has been saying things at at best could be considered misleading. It appears the New Labour administration’s detachment from reality is getting worse. What the hell is wrong with these people?

As for setting our brand new shiny alert system to the highest level for an exploit that was in the planning stages and was nowhere near being a proximate threat… what do we do if something actually happens?

rural bus timetables, etc.

June 24, 2006

I got the bus, for various reasons, from Dumfries to… well, an apparently nameless glen on the Solway Coast of Galloway, where my grandmother has lived since the 70s. Lets just say "the countryside".

It was an interesting trip on the 372 bus. It left two minutes early. And it was late almost immediately. Looking at the timetable it was easy to see why; the timetable was hopelessly optimistic.

I've noticed this in Helensburgh too. A long time ago, a friend with a car helped me test the Peninsula bus time-table. We rapidly discovered that it was impossible to keep to the published timetable (which still stands), even in a car, travelling non-stop.

I was the last passenger on the bus, and I left it long before it's destination, though I expect more people got on towards the end of the route. But it's hardly very surprising few people use these buses, if they're badly timed and irregular. Regular, reasonable intervals and honest time tables might make rural routes like this one more popular.
Still, the service beats the one in Kinlochleven in the far north of Scotland. Last time I was there there was one bus, three times a week!