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.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

More Fabulous Anti-Cycling Stuff from the Cycle Touring Club

In the past, we've lauded the quisling work of our entryist agents in deep cover at CTC Grampian and the Aberdeen Cycle Forum. Unlike the results brought by foreign cycle advocacy groups like the so-called "-izes", (see Copenhagenize, Amsterdamize, Hamburgize, Portlandize and on and on) our fifth columnists at CTC Grampian and Aberdeen Cycle Forum manage to keep cycling down, keep it in it's place. They do this by means of a variety of wheezes involving:

Making cycling irresistible. Ha! Yeah right.
So you are.

  1. Divide and rule (CTC and the Forum are always at each other's throats); 
  2. Deep satire (the members of these clubs are very often photographed looking bloody ridiculous); 
  3. Pusillanimity (invariably compromising on cycling issues, rights and facilities in favour of the needs of the more important family motorist on the streets of Aberdeen "City and Shire); 
  4. and, best of all dangerism.

Dangerism is a term which refers to the practice of maximising the perception of risk and the cultivation of fear and the accommodation of those fears by a "hardening" of safety measures, which then, in turn feed back into a greater yet perception of risk in an increasingly strident feedback howl, until an activity comes to be regarded (however irrationally) as being almost unthinkably dangerous.

So we congratulate the entryist factions of UK cycle 'advocacy' groups for their excellent dangerism praxis. We were particularly impressed by the CTC's "Children and Young Person's Participation Policy" which we spotted online recently. It sets out rules and policy, guidance and advice for young people taking part in cycling activities. Here it is. Frankly, it was too long, so we couldn't be bothered to read it:

Now, if before you saw that, you were in any doubt about our assertions that cycling is a dangerous activity requiring serious consideration; requiring special permission, planning, equipment and supervision, you shouldn't be now, eh? What with all those rules, and responsibilities and forms to fill in and stuff. Just so a kid can go on a bike, according to the Cycle Touring Club. We particularly enjoy the fact that, when the authorities (local or national government) are consulting on transport issues, it is to these people - the CTC - to whom the authorities turn for the cyclist's view. This fact makes us laugh out loud. Yes, we laugh all the way to the petrol station.

We thank Ford that our undercover agents at CTC have managed to insert this kind of thinking into the corporate body of the organisation, for without them, we might have to tolerate sights like this on the streets of Aberdeen "City and Shire":

Can you imagine anything worse than Aberdeen being though of as being like Copanhagen, Amsterdam or Paris?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Courier Van Contra-Flow Lane Pioneered in Aberdeen

Something which makes all motorists seethe with righteous anger and indignation, fury and wrath, is the proliferation of on-road facilities for those freeloading cyclists we see more and more of these days, out on the streets in Aberdeen "City and Shire" getting in the way of important tax-paying motorists who are just people out trying to do a job, keeping the economy going. Thankfully, thus far our quisling allies at Aberdeen Cycle Forum and CTC Grampian have managed to prevent the roll-out of extensive cycle facilities in Aberdeen "City and Shire", but it's surely only a matter of time before we begin to see such exotica as mandatory cycle lanes (actually, there's about 50m of that on Lang Stracht) and one-way contra-flow cycle lanes - perish the thought.

One-way contra-flow Bus lanes are bad enough, and - even though the gentle art of bus-lane driving was recently decriminalised, we have, unfortunately, yet to see anyone using the contra-flow bus-lane on  Menzies Road in order to rat-run Torry. Early days, though.

But, Aberdeen is rightly proud of its engineering heritage and we're pleased to see that enterprising spirit of inventiveness and innovation has now spread to the traffic engineering sphere. Yes, if the inventiveness of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars (and vans!) and their willingness to try new ideas and new methods is anything to go by, traffic woes in Aberdeen "City and Shire" will soon be a thing of the past! In the spirit of Mr Cameron's "Big Society", the enterprising and self-empowered drivers of Aberdeen Cars (and vans!) see no need to wait for top-down reform. Oh no, our motorists are in the best place - at ground level - to institute grass-roots reform from the bottom up.

Citizen Contributer "Lewis" contacted us to notify our "InnovationWATCH" desk that a new, vibrant and important paradigm in motorist innovation was being piloted on the streets of the city centre. Yes, thank-you "Lewis" for notifying us about use of the "Courier Van Contra-Flow Lane" which he spotted on Aberdeen's famous grand-processional "Boulevard of the North": Union Street. "Lewis" sent us this photo:

Heartwarmingly self-authorised innovation in the use of the bus-lane, there from Casey Transport's little Astra reg. SD60WGY. Driving contra-flow in the bus lane, parking and offloading goods at a bus stop despite the loading restrictions, facing the wrong way and ignoring the double-yellows. It. Makes. Us. Proud.

It is, of course, only fair that important wealth-creating delivery-drivers should be allowed to use bus lanes, park illegally, drive the wrong way, ignore loading restrictions, etc etc. Like the Tory party proposal to "uplift" speed limits throughout the country, until such time as the authorities introduce measures to rubber-stamp the activities of people who are - after all - just getting on with trying to do their jobs, the blameless courier-driver must take the inconvenient extra step of flashing his hazards, ah, sorry *exempts*, as we call them here.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Bus Lane Driving, Decriminalised.

We have said it before, and we'll say it again. "Scrap the bus lanes". And at last, it seems that the wind is blowing in our direction.


Splendid to see bus lane driving decriminalised. What used to be a police and court matter is now a civil matter. So, if you're journey is of national importance, like those of all the drivers of Aberdeen Cars, you can feel free to use the Bus Lanes as much as you want, just budget for that extra £60 (which is nothing to us Range Rover Evoque drivers)

And the beauty is, now that Bus Lane Driving is decriminalised, you don't have to worry about getting points on your license. Brilliant!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Outstanding Parking Can Be Really Cool, Contemporary and Cultural

We have been literally snowed under with citizen contribution submissions for the semi-regular "PaveParker of the Week" spot which we used to feature on AberdeenCars. If you have a submission to make, just hit the "citizen contribution hot-link" (over to the right there) and e-mail your contribution to aberdeencars@gmail.com
Yes, it's all happening on the pavements of Aberdeen City and Shire.

Anyway, as we said, we have been overwhelmed by a literally outstanding level of contributions, so much so that we had to start up the specially dedicated "Aberdeen Parking" blog, which you can review here:

And, as a catalyst for inspiring our realising of the ambition that the pavements of Aberdeen "City and Shire" be regarded as a demand-responsive programmable space dimension, we'd like you to take part in the Aberdeen Parking referendum which you can take part in here:

PaveParking is Cool! And the new Aberdeen Parking sub-group blog showcases that we can really see Aberdeen buzzing, cool, contemporary and cultural. (Car-cultural, that is of course!) The city can have the potential to be a visibly contemporary hub; a real buzz with the really cool car-culture dimension of nice cars in flexible space. Most of the cars in Aberdeen are quite new, so that's what we mean by contemporary.

A spectacular example of the use of flexible programmable space to transform the city centre's look, feel and reputation has been sent to us by citizen contributor "Rich" who was inspired to click the citizen contribution hot-link and e-mail aberdeencars@gmail.com with this photo attached:

The PaveParking Possibilities are Endless in the car-cultural centre of Aberdeen.

In the photo, the driver of really nice Aberdeen Car Y4GJL (which is a lovely BMW, and - let's face it - is JUST COOL) is showcasing the inspirational array of exciting car-cultural possibilities offered in the city centre locus by showing that he or she can afford to pay the laughably tiny charges for parking on (indeed, OVER) double yellow lines.

Yes, not only is the driver of this Aberdeen Car demonstrating the focus of his or her car-cultural vibrancy with this choice of a lovely expensive white BMW which is cool, they are happy to show that they are cash-rich with their anti-authority individualistic attitude to parking fines. Affluence brings choices, and consumer choice is the one and only true freedom. So is their anything more splendid and inspiring and cool than someone showing off their affluence? Indeed, so secure in their ability to make choices is the driver of this Aberdeen Car that they have stradded the anti-car no-parking lines (the double-yellow-straddle) in order to PavePark, thus demonstrating their superiority in every way over the nearby pestestrians who make the heart of the city centre look so untidy.

In addition to all this, the driver of this Aberdeen Car, this super BMW which adds so much to the cultural offering of the heart of Aberdeen, has been sure to inspire by carefully rendering the cycle-lane unusable. This sends out the message that cyclists are not welcome in Aberdeen, which is the Oil Capital of the Earth, and so must never, ever, ever, be seen to allow people to get about without using lots and lots of lovely fossil-fuel energy. This is the very essence of supporting the local economy, whereas cyclists and pedestrians are anti-oil, and therefore must be anti-Aberdeen tree-hugging naysaying nimbys. Must be.

So thanks to "Rich" who has helped us and all the drivers of Aberdeen Cars deliver the message that there truly is nothing more splendid than wealth and riches. And with the internationally known PaveParkers of Aberdeen delivering an opening up of an exciting array of PaveParking opportunities which can inspire and help to deliver a stamping out of cycling and walking, Aberdeen's vibrant reputation for a cool, contemporary vision of culture - a place where "It's All Happening" and the "Possiblilities are Endless" - is assured!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Aberdeen Council Cancel Mary Portas Free Parking Plan

We got all excited about the forthcoming suspension of parking charges in Aberdeen "City and Shire". You'll all remember, just before Xmas, that Mary Portas off the telly saying that the only way to save 'the High Street' is for councils to offer free parking in town centres. The BBC covered it:

Free parking
Having affordable town centre parking is another key recommendation.
In a recent survey, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 50% of their members said the lack of affordable town centre parking had a detrimental effect on their business.
John Walker, chairman of the FSB, said: "Putting in place free controlled parking schemes and introducing a parking league table could go some way in [addressing] this."
And yes, we agree with this, it must be put on any sensible planning horizon. The common sense policy of free parking in city centres is long overdue and much needed and would definitely go a long way to easing traffic woes. We already pay enough for the privilege of driving our nice cars into town. We are already taxed to the eyeballs with road taxes and council parking charges are just another tax on motoring from our anti-car, anti-business, anti-growth council. That Mary Portas off the telly is right to announce that parking should be free for important wealth creators like us, bringing in our extensive buying power at high speed from our hinterland dormitories to the US-style covered-mall shopping pleasuredomes of Aberdeen. Being off the telly, she is sure to be perfectly correct in all her opinions and recommendations. We should take note.

But did our council listen to this important and correct TV personality in her call for free parking for the important wealth creating drivers of Aberdeen Cars? Did they listen? Oh no, they think they know better... As everyone knows, in recent years our council has done everything they can to discourage people coming into the city by car, cloaking their anti-car, anti-growth, anti-Aberdeen measures in a green mantle of environmentalism.

And so it continues... we noticed this in council-subsidised local freesheet: The Aberdeen Citizen (BEST [sic] free newspaper in Scotland) :

But Aberdeen City Council's planning and infrastructure convenor Kate Dean said the [parking] controls were there for a reason. "If you do not want to get fined, then park in the correct place," she said. "We would also hope that people use public transport which would reduce congestion as well." She said she did not support the scrapping of parking charges...
Typical. Just typical. But we can take a crumb of comfort... nowhere in her anti-car rant does Kate Dean mention that anything should be done to support or promote active transport modes like walking or cycling. Thank goodness, for these treehugger activities have no place in the city of the future (which is unlikely to have any trees for them to hug anyway). Aberdeen's latest multi-million pound indoor shopping mall - ultramodern Union Square with its extensive outdoor and covered parking accessible by thrillingly spiral ramp - that's what the city of the future will look like.

One of the reasons for the success of Union Square is that – once you have battled your way through the traffic – at least the parking is adequate and reasonably priced. 

We suppose that we have to agree to an extent, though, with Kate Dean; we agree with her that some people should be expected always to need public transport to get them to the shops - shame. Some people in the underclass will always just be too poor to afford a really nice car to get them to Union Square with its welcoming, vibrant car parking.

So, to sum up, our council needs to take note and make things right and ease transport with lots of free or very cheap car parking space and extra road capacity for cars, so that our city centre can yes become a welcoming place again, regardless of how people choose to travel, whether by car, or public transport. Either option is open. See - we're not monsters. (As long as they don't come on foot or by bike - haha, for goodness sake! Be reasonable!)

Monday, 2 January 2012


In case you missed it, here is a press release from the council for a "Planned Walk" which took place in the week before Christmas:


Winter walk planned for Duthie Park


Aberdeen City Council's ranger service is inviting local residents to take part in the latest in a series of walks in the city this week.
The Health Walks programme was devised by the Ranger Service in partnership with NHS Grampian and the Forestry Commission Scotland and includes walks of varying intensity and length.
The next one will be held on Thursday [22 December] from 2pm and will be an easy paced walk around Duthie Park. Participants are asked to meet outside the café by the David Welch Winter Gardens, off Polmuir Road.
Countryside Ranger Ruth Bone said: "If it is not too chilly we will extend the walk and take in a bit of the Deeside Line. A winter walk is a great way to relax and escape the pre-Christmas rush for an hour or so. Walkers can warm up with a cup of tea in the café afterwards."
The walk is free but places must be booked by calling 01224 897400. Donations to the Ranger Service will be welcomed.

Additionally, the "planned walk" around this city centre park is supported by a 12-page leaflet, which you can view here (pdf).

Here are some highlights from this 'how to walk in a park' guide:

This is one of a series of nine booklets showing different walks around Aberdeen city.
The walks begin in your local community and include green spaces on your own doorstep. The walks vary in distance and estimated times for completion have been provided.
Some walks are completely flat, whilst others may include a moderate slope. Read the route card first so that you know what to expect.
A network of paths exists around Duthie Park providing a variety of different options. Whether you start at the cafeteria or the car parks off Polmuir Road/Riverside Drive, you can choose to complete a short circular route or extend the length of the walk taking in the boating lake or the rose gardens. 
All paths are tarmac, mainly flat with a few small uphill and downhill sections. The rose gardens are a beautiful area to explore, however the steep sections it includes do offer more of a challenge. 

So, there you have it. On the 22 of December 2011 the victory of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars was final, complete and total. For, on that day, the simple activity of taking a short stroll around a city centre park became a challenging fringe activity requiring special permission and planning, booking even. Not only that, walking around a city centre park is now officially an activity best undertaken in the presence of a "ranger", like gorge walking or white-water rafting or some other sort of extreme sport involving what they call "intensity".

We have only one qualm about the council press release heralding this "planned walk". Can you see what it is? Yes, it's the fact that, despite booking being required, this activity is trumpeted as being "free".

C'mon Aberdeen City Council! Try harder! Let's see if, in these austerity times, we can't find some way to make these extreme-sport aficionados - these so called "walkers" - pay for their weird proclivities.