Our deep-cover double-agent "Codename JannieJumbo" sent us these pictures from deep within his embedded position as part of Aberdeen's increasingly beleaguered cycling fraternity. The photos are taken from the so-called "Old Deeside Line", which is supposedly now "Route 195" on the "National Cycle Network". Whatever that is.
These pictures are taken facing west, near the former site of Milltimber Station, looking towards Milltimber Brae Road. The entrance to the Camphill Estate can be made out in the upper right quadrant of the first photo. From left to right (south to north) this is the route of the forthcoming special category road (motorway) the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR), or just: "The Bypass" as we like to call it. This 45 km road had been due to open in 2012.
Firstly we were delighted to see that things are progressing at last - surveyors in the field, marking out carriageway widths - laying down flags and markers - is that a theodolite?
But then, taking a closer look, our mouths went dry - our hearts sank - our cheeks flushed with anger. Those aren't surveyors; they are young girls. Those aren't flags and markers; they are show-jumps! Those aren't theodolites; they are horses!
Frankly, we were horrified. Horrified on so many levels. Firstly, these people must know full well that they are playing games on the bed of the forthcoming motorway. So they are deliberately and provocatively rubbing the hard-pressed motorist's nose in the fact that some nimby naysayers court action is delaying the start of work on The Bypass.
Secondly, these people are beyond our understanding. Why aren't they safe and cozy inside a nice car? Don't they know that horse-riding is as dangerous as taking drugs? No, we don't understand. The only possible reason they could be out there showing off with their ad-hoc gymkhana is to anger motorists with their highly provocative dog-in-a-manger attitude: "Look we're simply mucking about where your bypass is supposed to go but isn't". They've even parked their spare horses on the location of the critical SUDS drainage system for the motorway. These people have no shame!
Flaunting their petrol-free horse-use in front of tax-paying motorists, these arrogant horsey people are one of the critical-path barriers to a modern car-based transport system from the 1950's for Aberdeen "City and Shire". The sort of modern car-based transport system that culminates in a huge dual carriageway without pedestrian access wafting high-speed busy shoppers directly into the centre of covered malls in the heart of the historic city centre. We mean, of course, the now-threatened Denburn Dual Carriageway.
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A blog about cars in Aberdeen.
This is a blog about cars in Aberdeen because most people aspire to the convenience of personal motor transport, pay dearly for the privilege, provide much employment, contribute greatly in taxes, and then people expect them to ‘leave the car at home’, while their money is spent creating cycle lanes and the like for freeloading cyclists.