Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glasgow Council Elections 2012 - Public Transport & Air Quality

A recent article (here) reported on the significant decline in bus journeys over the past year. The overall decline in Scotland was 6% fewer journeys, with 12% in Strathclyde and South West Scotland. Air pollution caused by traffic is also a problem as noted in this Herald article and Katkin's Blog.

One of the worst areas for air quality is around Hope Street and Renfield Street: the streets where almost all bus routes cut through the city centre which could lead to the conclusion that buses are the cause of the high level of pollutants.  However, elevated levels of pollution are found throughout the city and the high peak on these particularly busy streets would be similar if cars were sitting there instead of buses.  Allowing the buses to traverse this area more quickly will help and this could be facilitated by enforcing bus lane restrictions (i.e. only allowing buses, taxis and cyclists to use them).  Rather cynically, the Labour Party controlled council has chosen this week to begin enforcement of bus lanes that have been abused for several years.  Those supporting better public transport will look forward to improved services while those flouting the rules will not recieve their penalty notice until after the election...

So what policies do the parties propose to improve mobility around the city and improve the air quality?

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#CTWW Weekly Challenge, 18th April 2012

This Week's Challenge:

This week's challenge is from Stephanie

This week take a walk and pick up trash. Then, come back here and tell us what you found (photos of what you collected would be great)!

I must confess, this week time and weather got the better of me so I.m digging in to the dim and distant past for this challenge. The Thursday before Easter to be precise. I went for a fresh spring walk at Palacerigg Country Park in nearby Cumbernauld. The country park specialises in rare breeds of domesticated animals but I was there more for the fresh air and to see how spring was progressing.

I walked from the visitor centre to the start of Brockhurst Woods when I spotted a clear plastic bag snagged on a tree just above head height, so I grabbed it and stuffed it in my pocket, then headed down Glencryan with a spring in my step, pleased at doing a good deed.

Further on, I came across what I initially took to be a pond but later found was a small reservoir, pictured above. As I drew nearer, my heart sank. Beer cans, broken glass litter strewn on the banks and in the water. You can see them floating in the photo above.

The area is clearly frequented by some of the more anti-social locals for boozing, littering and fire raising, with partly burnt out living trees, like the one below.

Clearing up this area is, I feel, beyond the scope of this weeks challenge and really needs a well equipped squad with waders, protective gloves and other safety equipment to get the litter out of the reservoir.

It was really disappointing "discovering" this place only to find it trashed through lazy people's carelessness but we do need accessible outdoor places near our towns and cities.   Walks through the woods is good for us both physically and mentally. We just need to work out how to get people to take some responsibility for their actions.

Fortunately it didn't ruin the walk completely! There was lively birdsong, flowering gorse bushes, fantastic fungi and and wind blown trees of gigantic proportions.

So what challenge is in store for us tomorrow...  

Rush+ Hinges on Three Things Metro Does Poorly

Via @Danr

Via @bbarasky

According to Metro's video explaining Rush+ (spending more money marketing it here, here and here), there are three crucial items necessary for its success.

1. PIDs with correct information
2. Well marked trains
3. Clear operator announcements


How's that going to work out?

Other items: