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.

Thursday 31 March 2011

Essential Services - Initial.co.uk - Reg. HX09HBU

The human tides which inhabit the HMO's of Aberdeen's Broomhill Road are a constant source of trouble to their entrepreneurial landlords. Often, the problems are of a nature which we would prefer to draw a tasteful veil around!

Initial "Washroom Services"
Suffice it to say that we've seen "Inital Washroom Services" reg HX09HBU around a few times, clearly dealing with an urgent toilet emergency of some kind, as the driver of this Aberdeen Van has been present-minded enough to use the pedestrian build-out "demand-responsive" emergency parking area outside the HMO in question as he goes about his "business". It's also a nice piece of PaveParkVertising which directs us towards the Initial website at www.initial.co.uk - nice one!

"Inital Care is Everywhere!" (as they used to say)
and, they should add, "At Any Time"

The very model of "Corporate Social Responsibility":
Everyone at Initial, from onsite personnel to senior management in the boardroom, demonstrates a firm commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility by putting our good practice guidelines into action on a daily basis.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

PaveParker of the Week! SV08LCO

Yay! This weeks PaveParker of the Week is the driver of Aberdeen Car SV08LCO.

Yes, congratulations to the driver of Aberdeen Car Vauxhaull Astra Sport (oooh!) 1.6i Design (ooooh!) who shows excellent technique on Aberdeen's Rubislaw Park Road.

The double yellow straddle, the 'flipped' wing mirror, leaving just enough room for the pestestrian to squeeze past without having to resort to "carraigewalking". It's all good stuff. We particularly liked the choice of PaveParking location - close to that rogue cone. This will cause the hapless (and carless!) pestestrian to have to execute a sort of slalom maneuver. This will humiliate them by moving them off of their desire line and reminding them of their proper place on the streets of Aberdeen - subordinate even to the cones! Quite right.

We have only one gripe with this weeks PaveParker: why is he not flashing his "exempts"? By this omission he runs the risk of being spoken to by a hated Community Warden. Flashing the hazards exempts is the sure secret way of demonstrating your importance and vitality to the local economy - thus causing the hated Community Wardens to leave well alone - they know what side their bread's buttered on!

However, perhaps it is that the driver of this Aberdeen Car is less certain of his status, driving a lowly Astra in Aberdeen's exclusive West End. You'll note he shares the road (and pavement!) with a Chevvy Jeep, a brand new Range Rover and one of those Porsche Cayennes - oooh we like them! Rubislaw Park Drive is quite steep, after all.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

I Dig UTG.

I 'dig' UTG!
We're beginning to gain more of a professional footing now with our popular campaign to to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter). We're gaining more followers every day!

Of course, as we've pointed out, saving our the Denburn Heritage Dual Carriageway (which is part of our city's Heritage Inner City Ring-road), necessitates the destruction of the city's Union Terrace Gardens. Hay, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs!

So, to celebrate the forthcoming desecration of the gardens to make way for the much needed car-park, we've had this brutally honest tee-shirt created:

The beauty of creating this teeshirt via fulfillment house "Zazzle", is that it's a doddle - anyone can do it, takes about 5 minutes. Not only that, it also demonstrates a provocative disregard for the nimby tree-hugging naysayers who think that grass and flowers are more important than parking spaces. This'll rile them!

Yay! Hud'at nimbys!

I think everyone will agree that this lends our campaign to realise Sir Ian Woods' 'vision' for Aberdeen City centre a professional and mature aspect which was hitherto missing. We have contacted him and his supporters at local enterprise forum ACSEF to ask what he and they think. We've also asked Aberdeen City Council whether they'd like to sell the tees at council tax collection points across the city. We're sure they'll all be delighted by our initiative!

You can't make an omelette...

Without breaking eggs...

Monday 28 March 2011

The Silent Majority wants to Save Our Heritage.

It can be tough going at times, trying to motivate the silent majority: continually issuing rallying cries to our silent silent supporters in aid of our campaign to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter).

A woefully underused urban asset.
Part of our heritage under threat.
What can YOU do to help?
We take our obligations on behalf our our huge but largely silent support very seriously; the job has a high profile and entails real responsibility. As part of what we do, sometimes - like over the last few weeks - it's been necessary to report on the threats to not only the Denburn Dual Carriageway but also our worries about the other road projects which we hold dear in Aberdeen "City and Shire". It's upsetting work - we have to look at things which nobody should have to look at and read proposals nobody should have to read - but somebody's got to do it. One of the dangers of this type of work is that it can skew your perspective - turn you paranoid - you begin to see cyclits and pestestrians literally everywhere, murmering their creed of "reallocation".

But, we've had a nice weekend - got the car parked directly outside the house so we could look at it whenever we wanted to (comforting) and so we settled down to count our blessings. We noticed that our local MP, Dame Anne Begg, tweeting furiously that the AWPR Aberdeen Bypass is still a party priority, despite all sorts of anti-bypass misinformation promoted by our Dundee-based local press. And we also comforted ourselves with these thoughts:

Don't worry - we'll fix this
medieval aberration on the A90.
Firstly, the work which will complete the A90 Trunk Road Anderson Drive "Ring Road".
  • The forthcoming improvements to the historic Bridge of Dee (it's recent de-scheduling as a Scheduled Ancient Monument opens the way to its significant modification and widening as part of the A90 trunk road)
  • The improvements to the Haudagain Roundabout at the A90 A96 junction - a flyover? An underpass? Exciting! One things for sure, some social housing full of unemployed people and students will be bulldozed to make way for it. Good.

Inner Ring Road
Secondly, the work which will complete the "Inner-City Ring Road".

Thirdly, and most excitingly, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - The Aberdeen Bypass itself. Still a priority for Dame Anne Begg MP, and MSP candidate Gregg Williams of the Labour Party. This will be a motorway. Sort of.

So, yes. Soon Aberdeen will be a city which has not one, not two, but three - yes three ring-roads. Two of these will be thrilling urban-dual-carriageways, and the third will be a motorway. Fabulous!

At last we can see the future - the future our forefathers envisaged in the 1952 Local Plan - a future full of cars busily speeding about on our three ring-roads creating economic growth for the whole country. By heaven it'll have taken a long time to get there - but it'll be worth it. The future IS what it used to be. These retro-modern transport plans are cutting edge. They say that if you wait long enough, fashions come round again. That means that Aberdeen is avant-garde.

Some say that these mid-20th century plans now reaching implementation are now out of place and unsustainable against the dark background of resource depletion and climate change. They say that the effort would be better expended getting Aberdeen "City and Shire" hooked up to next-generation fibre-optic high-speed broadband, but we don't really know what that means, so we ignore these calls. They say that the future can only be assured by the up-to-datedness of the fastest possible 21st century internet connectivity - but we think they don't know what connectivity means. The growth-generating drivers of Aberdeen Cars are only interested in the sort of connectivity which dual-carriageways and motorways can provide! High speed traffic flow! Now that's connectivity!

Soon enough, our city centre will be regenerated by efficient traffic flow delivering large numbers of high-speed drivers into the city-centre at a higher rate than ever before. More car-parks will be definitely be needed. And so our beloved Denburn heritage Dual Carriageway will saved for future generations. Hooray!

Kill them all if you love your car!
But what of the carbon emissions? Well, we all know that global warming is just a conspiracy theory to to make motorists feel guilty - yes, a myth put about by jealous hippy types who envy our lovely cars (and, as pointed out by our mentors at Bristol Traffic, what about all the carbon emissions caused by the manufacture of too many cycle helmets and high visibility jackets, eh?). But anyway - whatever! - we draw their sting with the Granite City Forest project. This project sort-of offsets the expected increase in carbon emissions by 'planting a tree for every citizen' and necessitates the slaughter of all the deer on Tullos hill.

Good. These spongeing animals do not contribute to economic growth. About these useless roe deer we care not a jot - they are in the way of our plans for dual carriageways and motorways. They deserve to die. Will we get to eat them?

So it's time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted, and hopefully encourage others to do the same. If you love your cars, if you love driving you MUST spread the word:

'Like' us on FaceBook, 'Follow' us on Twitter.

Friday 25 March 2011

Budget - Yay! Budget - Boo!

Fantastic news for Aberdeen - Oil Capital of Europe, where everyone drives really nice big cars - doing as much mileage as we can - because it supports the local economy. As hard-pressed beleaguered family motorists, naturally we welcome the long-expected and much-needed 1p off the fuel duty on a litre of petrol. All our wishes and hopes for the future were contained within the Chancellor, George Osbourne MP's, announcement that he will help motorists in this way. Yay!

Oh but at such dreadful news for Aberdeen - Oil Capital of Europe. During Wednesday’s Budget speech, Mr Osborne said the offshore oil companies’ (who live in Aberdeen) greater-than-expected profits had led to his decision to use North Sea tax to recoup the £9.4billion the government would lose through the fuel duty cut. Boo!

We are conflicted. Does the chancellor not realise that Aberdeen "City and Shire" is the economic dynamo which was all set to pull the economy out of recession, all because of the high oil price! High oil prices are good for Aberdeen, leading to newspaper features and articles on the BBC's "One Show" saying that we are "the town the credit crunch forgot". And this is true; reaping the benefits of the high oil price, Aberdeen is the "city to watch". Some say that while the drivers of Aberdeen Cars revel in high oil prices, it's this self-same high oil price which is helping to prolong the economic gloom elsewhere, but we think that's just jealousy talking. We have the largest man-made hole in Europe and we contain the second-richest man in Scotland (We regularly gain comfort from reading the sayings atrributed to him on his wiki page). We have the second-largest granite building in Europe and we are the number two in the world for upstream oil and gas. Yes indeed, a real "number two".

So, today, we hit out in fury at the Chancellor and blast his disgraceful attempt to bite the hand that feeds him. The drivers of Aberdeen Cars are the one resource that he could have relied on to create some much needed economic growth and pull UK plc out of recession, like we did in the 1980's and then again in the 1990's. He has taken us for granted. He has brought the recession to Aberdeen - thanks for that, George! We agree with the local press: you are a "stupid, ignorant hypocrite". We think that's fair comment and are glad that our local newspaper of record is prepared to exercise such judicious weighting of its opinions. How dare the chancellor punish our achievement of having the oil resource nearby and that the price is very high right now is indeed our achievement - we in Aberdeen "City and Shire" should be rewarded - not punished!

It is said that this winfall tax on our oil industry might have an impact on the local housing market. But we doubt that. Everyone knows that houses only ever go up.

Mr Osborne’s Cabinet colleague, Aberdeen's Michael Gove, had been due to visit the north-east yesterday, but cancelled the trip at the last minute.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Bypass "may not be top priority" - Whaaaaaat?

The drivers of Aberdeen Cars today hit out in fury at threats to our cherished bypass hopes.

There were astonishing admissions from politicians earlier in the week when, as the hustings is prepared for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament Elections, a politician said that the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project (the bypass) may not "be the top funding priority" for any incoming Scottish Government.

As everyone knows, the bypass is a vital infrastructure project which is needed to allow the economic powerhouse that is Aberdeen create some much needed economic growth and pull UK plc out of recession, like we did in the 1980's and then again in the 1990's.

Aberdeen, as we all know, is the "Key City To Power the UK Recovery". But do we here in Aberdeen "City and Shire" get any thanks for it? No we don't! The thought of the bypass being completed in 2012 is just about the only thing that gives some of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars hope - it's the only thing that keeps us going through our long-standing traffic misery. Meantime we see our grudgingly-paid Road Tax money being spent on cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, footbridge overpasses and the like, but never ever anything for us: the real people, the people in nice cars, the only ones who are economically active and create real economic growth so that people can have nice cars.

So, for polititions to brand the bypass as: "not the top priority" is insensitive. They say they need the money for hospitals and schools. We say - "let the drivers of Aberdeen Cars create the much-needed economic growth first - then you can have as many hospitals as you want! Give us our bypass! NOW!"

Then there are those who say that the bypass won't work, it'll just create more traffic. They talk of strange sounding things like The Lewis-Mogridge Position, The Downs-Thompson Paradox, The Braess' Paradox and Induced Demand. Which is all very clever we're sure. They say that more roads means more cars will use the roads. Well, duh! That's the whole idea! And that means that we'll need even more roads, and so on until there's enough. Simples!

What these nimbys don't realise is that they should treat this as a mathematical problem. If you evenly distribute the population, everyone of age can drive and has a car, everyone drives at the same time and there is sufficient road available with an even distribution of journeys throughout the country then you have the situation where everyone is driving at the same time and no scope for an increase in roadspace leading to more journeys undertaken etc. there would be no one else to drive!

This will be the omega point. Only then will our work be done.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

PaveParker of the Week! SW55 KWM

This weeks laurels go to the driver of Aberdeen Car Kia Picanto 1.0 GS reg. SW55KWM

We spotted this exemplary parking on the city's historic Hardgate the other day. What we particularly enjoy about this display of How-to-PavePark is the consideration show by the altruistic driver of this Aberdeen Car. Noting that the area is characterised by sheltered housing and nursing homes, our philanthropic PaveParker has made sure to leave just enough room for the elderly residents to squeeze between the car and the fence.

That is, of course, providing that the elderly people can be trusted to stick to the example set out in the instructive sign and walk one in front of the other in a line, as illustrated.

One in front of the other, please.

Our humanity-loving driver of this PaveParked Aberdeen Car has even allowed the elderly people a little bit more room by "flipping the wingmirror". Cool! We have to admit, though, perhaps there's just a hint of selfishness in this. It's possible that the driver was afraid that the sticks and walking frames of the passing elderly people might scratch this nice wee car; thus rendering it less nice. We congratulate the driver's foresight and planning.


Tuesday 22 March 2011

Use It or Lose It!

"Use it or lose it", they say. At least that's what's said in support of the redevelopment of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens. They say the gardens are unloved. They say they are underused, they say they are inaccessible. And so they will redevelop Union Terrace Gardens.

Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and, we're sorry to say that despite our popular campaign to to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter) this splendid urban asset remains woefully underused and at threat from those who would re-assign road-space to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, unicylists, clowns and the like when the Aberdeen Bypass is build in 2012.

That photo was taken on Saturday lunchtime. While the rest of the town was heaving with busy keen shoppers, eager to spend their wages in support of economic growth, our city's urban highway lay deserted. Unused and unloved. It's a shame. (No pavements, though - just the way we like it. Reminds us of Houston.)

It all started in 1992 with such high hopes. Aberdeen "City and Shire" nailed it's colours to the mast with a plaque commemorating the work to improve the lot of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars in the city centre. We are not aware of any other city putting urban dual carriageway building so close to the centre of civic life. That's a granite plinth. That's a bronze plaque. It makes us proud. [sniff]

But, it's not like the old days, and unless we can make sure that Union Terrace Gardens is turned into a car-park so that induced demand for car journeys into town fills up the dual carriageway, the motor-centric policies of the past will remain but a fond memory. And unless we can improve accessibility to the Denburn Dual Carriagway by making sure that the forthcoming Denburn Corridor urban dual carriageway is one project that delivers on budget, this next picture illustrates what we will have to look forward to:

Not only does the picture show a huge economically inactive greensward with trees swaying sickeningly in the breeze on BOTH sides of the denburn transport corridor, but it also shows people ON FOOT using the carriageways of both Denburn Road and Union Terrace. What was wrong with these people? Couldn't they afford a nice carriage? They remind us of today's student protests.

So are they perhaps Victorian anarchists? Prussian agitators intent on undermining the British Class System? Suicidal suffragette terrorists? Marxist revolutionaries?

Now, as then, vigilance will see us through these difficult times.

Monday 21 March 2011

Declassified Image from the War on the Motorist

Now that Philip Hammond has ended the War on the Motorist (and not before time!) we are beginning to see the release of declassified documents from the conflict.

This image was captured during the attempted "no drive zone" of 1974.

Friday 18 March 2011

Poor Old Cyclists! Even Teenage Corsa-drivers Take the P155

As our agent provocateur double agent "codename JannieJumbo" lurks around town pretending to be a hippy vegetarian cycling activist, but secretly reporting back to us, occasionally his concealed camera captures some real gems of exemplary motorist behaviour.

In this clip, which he secreted in the dead-letterbox drop beneath the shadow of the ASDA Garthdee double-deck carpark, poor old "codename JannieJumbo" is intimidated by a bunch of teenagers driving Aberdeen Car Vauxhall Corsa reg. SW04TTU. They pulse-rev the engine in frustration as they follow him through a pestestrian refuge width-restricted section of carriageway on Aberdeen's Bankhead Road in Bucksburn. Then, as poor "codename JannieJumbo" moves out for parked vehicles, they roar past intimidatingly close.

Which of course raises the perennial question:

"Was he wearing a cycle helmet?"

Thursday 17 March 2011

Where's the car-park?

We take our duties as activists working to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" very seriously. ('Like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter.) So we've been doing our research with great diligence.

Having been heartened by the sight of the large car-park shown in the feasibility study documents (big pdf) used to promote the "City Square Project" we were shocked to see the website being used to promote the project, now re-branded "City Gardens Project". We've looked long and hard and can find no mention of a car-park. There's talk of public transport links, pedestrian routes, buses and trains, but nothing about cars. What's going on?

Well, there's a crumb of comfort to grab hold of with open arms - the website says that the feasibility documents - which show the super big car park which we like so much - are "accurate". So, we have to assume that the lack of mention of the much needed carparking facilities - it's really hard to find a space when you go shopping - and the boosting of public transport and the other vegetarian-friendly transport options are just greenwash, pure and simple. Greenwash which is designed to appease the hippy artist-lovers who oppose the project and want to turn the Denburn Dual Carrageway into a cycle lane and bridleway.

But we know better, we know that the car-park remains! The Denburn Dual Carriageway is safe!

Thank Ford for that!

"Codename JannieJumbo" Demonstrates Cycling's Inadequacy

We're pleased that our deep-cover operative lurking and smirking from behind his "legend" within the Aberdeen "Cycling Activist" community is beginning to come back into the fold.

In this video, which he left in our new dead-letterbox on the top-deck of the Union Square car-park, he demonstrates just how much superiority there is in "vehicular" behaviour - the poor fella! He's cycling as if it's a car!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Locking in the Benefits. By taking them away?

As part of the work of national importance which we do here at Aberdeen Cars we have been passed the "AWPR - Locking in the Benefits" document which was written by the nimby naysayers at NESTRANS. This made us worry. Worry on behalf of our followers who, like all drivers of Aberdeen Cars, want to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriagway!" ('Like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter.)


Part of this document relates to the "reallocation" of roadspace away from motorists in favour of buses, trains and bicycles and other measures to discourage the use of cars; improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and all sorts of other such airy-fairy nonsense for vegetarians.

As everyone knows, the only way to ensure future prosperity for Aberdeen "City and Shire" is to "go for growth" by putting more cars on more roads, then sit back and watch the economy rip! So, we're scared, yes - terrified - that the underuse of the Denburn Dual Carrageway (which we already identified) will lead to its "reallocation" under the NESTRANS fig-leaf of "Locking in the Benefits" once the Aberdeen bypass is open in 2012. Use it or lose it!

And then there's the "Tunnels Vision for Aberdeen Transport".
"Underground tunnels for buses and trams could be built in Aberdeen as part of plans which would see vehicles banned from three of the city’s busiest streets."
When we first heard about these tunnels we were delighted. But then we saw those words "...vehicles banned from three of the city's streets". They just don't get it, these "men of vision" do they? These proposals for extra futuristic road space shouldn't be "instead of" they should be "as well as". And so, they plan to give with one hand. Motorways, tunnels, relief roads. And take away with another. Road space reallocated to pedestrians, cyclists, trains.

That word "reallocation", frightening. Sounds a bit like "re-education" Mao-style. These war-on-the-motorist lefties are all the same.

PaveParker of the Week! KG07DLX

This week's PaveParker of the Week demonstrates bollard-confounding full PaveParking!

Yes, the driver of Aberdeen Car Ford Focus 1.8 TDCi Zetec "Climate Pack" (ooooh?) reg. KG07DLX has spotted that the bollards on Aberdeen's Holburn Street outside the Royal China restaurant don't quite prevent the perspicacious and tenacious drivers of Aberdeen Cars from exercising their right to PavePark. Anything to avoid paying for parking! The fact that parking on pavements is not illegal  is such a great loophole for today's beleaguered motorists to exploit as they go about their vital business creating economic growth, and we're delighted that Aberdeen is in the vanguard of demonstrating best practice in this the gentle art of PaveParking.

For this dedication to the cause, this driver is not only our PaveParker of the Week! But also, we have made them an Honorary Colonel in the Aberdeen Anti-Bollard League.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

A Super Big New Car Park!

This sends out the totally wrong message about Aberdeen.

As part of our duties as promoters of the "Save the Denburn Dual Carriagway!"  pressure group (like us on FaceBook, follow us on Twitter), we were passed this document (great big nasty PDF) which put our mind to rest a little bit about the redeveloment of Union Terrace Gardens and the prospects for saving the Denburn Dual Carriageway.

Deep within the document, we found this sight to gladden our eyes - this is what will replace that underused park in the city centre:

Ah, that's better!
That's the bottom deck.
Where the useless grass is at the moment.

As you can see from the pictures, plans for the development in Union Terrace Gardens include a lovely big new car park where we can put our nice cars when we go shopping.

That's the middle deck.
Where today the useless canopies of the trees wave stupidly in the breeze
contributing nothing to economic growth, soon we will see
lots of lovely cars.
We are very happy with this, as a great big carpark instead of the useless park will attract lots of traffic onto the Denburn Dual Carriageway, and make Aberdeen look all busy with lots of people in lovely cars going about their business on the bustling road. This will send out all the right messages.

However, when we looked at the "Schedule of Accommodation" for the proposed "City Square", we noted that 15,515 square metres of space out of a total of 56,505 are allocated for car-parking. That's 27.5%.

Yes. 27.5% of this new civic space is to be given over exclusively to car parking. We found this absolutely horrifying. It's not even nearly enough!


Aha! Thanks for your comment, Julie. That's a step in the right direction, isn't it? What does Aberdeen "City and Shire" want with Artist-lovers when there's an urgent need for parking spaces?!

So, when all the space for the now abandoned Contemporary Arts Centre is rightly allocated to carparking space, then that gives us about 612 spaces; 19,380 square metres. That's 34% of the total.

Given the fact that other 'civic squares' in Aberdeen (like Golden Square) have allocated as much as 70% of their space to cars, this paltry 34% from the City Square Project still is simply not enough. They urgently need to re-think these plans if they are to save the Denburn Dual Carriageway.

They should listen to us. We are motorists. We have clout.

Fury at Road Closed Misery

Road Closed Misery.

The more you look, the more you see. This bollard-driven menace curtails the freedom of the blameless drivers of Aberdeen Cars to go about their business creating much needed economic growth for Aberdeen "City and Shire". It robs motorists of the road-space for which they pay road tax and curtails traffic flow. Traffic flow is where economic growth comes from.

Anderson Drive - If only!

Beechwood Road.

Cornhill Road

Not content with punishing the already-hard-pressed and tax-farmed motorist with increasing parking charges, our council in all its wisdom,has decided to further punish the innocent motorist by blocking off some of the favourite commuter rat-runs, thus rendering them usable only by tax dodging pedestrians and cyclists.

It's a disgrace!

If any readers have instances of bollard-driven road-closed misery at which they'd like to vent their fury, then they can click our emergency-denunciation hot-link over to the right and e-mail aberdeencars@gmail.com with full details and photos.

When they do, we'll enroll them in our "Anti-bollard League".

Monday 14 March 2011

An Underused Urban Asset in Aberdeen

Take a look at that picture. The Denburn Valley. Our friends at Bristol Traffic have pointed out that there's the railway for poor people to use, the pavement for bins and vans and a proper road (the Denburn Dual Carriageway) for real people to use. But that's the problem! They're not using it! A lovely big road like that, and hardly any nice cars or vans using it.

What with all those people walking and cycling around Aberdeen these days rather than use the lovely big road, the place is looking a bit like DSS-land or StudentVille or something. This sends out all the wrong messages.

They say "use it or lose it" and, indeed, that's one of the arguments being used in support of the redevelopment of the neighbouring Union Terrace Gardens: that the green space is "rarely used", is a "pocket of market failure" and should therefore be turned into a shopping centre. Or something. And so an opportunity presents itself.

As part of the forthcoming exciting City Square Project in Union Terrace Gardens, we'd like to see a lovely new big thrilling car park included in the plans. This will attract lots of nice cars into the heart of the city centre and fill the Denburn Dual Carriageway full of busy bustling traffic. This will ensure that, to the visitor, Aberdeen "City and Shire" will look very much like a region on the up-and-up. A city that knows where it's going. It's going shopping!

Moreover, the creation of a super big new exciting car park in the heart of the city will, through induced demand, create a justification for the new Berryden Corridor Urban Dual Carriageway Development. See how it all fits together? It's a "no-brainer"!


We have deliberately created a 'facebook page' to spearhead our campaign to save and enhance this underused urban asset in Aberdeen.

Essential Services - Richard Irvine Building Services.

Now that winter's nearly over, it's time to get all those bits and pieces of building maintenance done. So builders, roofers and the like are rushed off their feet, busy dotting around Aberdeen "City and Shire" in their little vans, creating some much needed economic growth.

And, into the bargain, the drivers of Richard Irvine's little red vans aren't averse to pushing home the essential anti-pestestrian message as they go about their business. PaveParkVertising on Broomhill Road puts the pestestrians in their place, while promoting your employer's business. A dual-use strategy! Brilliant!

We spotted this next Richard Irvine Building Services Van on Aberdeen's Cattofield Place, where it joins Back Hilton Road, just across from the Hilton Chipper.

We actually watched aghast as the driver parked on the corner, blocking the dropped kerb and restricting pestestrian access to the junction as he dashed across the road for a lunchtime "chip supper" (these builder types have to keep their strength up!). 

But yes we were horrified. Horrified because he has parked on double yellows and he forgot to flash his hazards "exempts".

This is all very disappointing because, according to Richard Irvine's website:
Seamlessly linked together, divisional synergy optimises our ability to offer a wide range of customised packages to meet clients precise demands. Uniquely delivered and controlled from a single source, our multi-disciplined resources combine to produce a dedicated client service that allows strategic objectives to be timeously achieved.
What with all that strategically optimised synergy and uniquely seamless resources, you'd have thought that the driver would have remembered to do deliver the job with proper dedication and switch on his "exempts". We have informed his employers of this lapse. Timeously. 

Friday 11 March 2011

A New Strategy - Chevron PaveParking!

We are delighted to report a new development. The ingenuity of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars never ceases to amaze! And delight!

Here we see thirteen (13) Aberdeen Cars (and Vans) PaveParked "chevron style" on the footway of Aberdeen's historic St Peter's Street. To the right of the photo (out of shot) are some student halls of residence, so the cars definitely don't belong to them.

So, who do the cars belong to? Well, that building to the left is the deceptively modest global headquarters of public transport leviathan First Group - Aberdeen's gift to the world (of which we are ashamed). Regular readers will not be surprised that we don't approve of public transport, but First Group is a worldbeater and a major contributer to economic growth in Aberdeen "City and Shire", so we're a bit conflicted.

But in any case First Group - the world's largest public transport operator, what with it's revenues of £6 billion and its 130,000 staff - has been good to it's employees, a fair number of which were council workers from the rump of Grampian Regional Transport - these people struck it rich with share options and the like as the once publicly owned business was spun off and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Yes indeed, First Group was good to it's employees - none of whom would be seen dead riding on a bus these days!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Essential Services - Dogsbuddyaberdeen.com

One of the services offered by Dogsbuddy Aberdeen, in addition to "dog walker" and "pet sitter" is "fun agility". We can tell this because they are "PaveParkVertising" their services on Aberdeen's Gordondale Road. Just as well, because they haven't gotten round to finishing off their website yet.

Certainly the pestestrian who must angle and squeeze past the Dogsbuddy van with the Cherished Plate reg. K9 PXL (see what they've done there?) is forced to demonstrate "agility". Whether or not the pestestrian thinks this is "fun" we cannot say. The minds of these people are a mystery to us - we cannot understand why they don't just get a car. Like everyone else in Aberdeen "City and Shire".

Wednesday 9 March 2011

PaveParker of the Week! DS09YND

Congratulations are due to this week's PaveParker of the Week!

Yes, the driver of Aberdeen Car Vauxhaull Insignia 2.0 CDTi SRi Nav 160 (note the stream of numbers and letters which denote importance) demonstrates advanced PaveParking technique on Aberdeen's Broomhill Road, outside the Europcar National car hire agency.
  1. Use of the dropped kerb to facilitate PaveParking
  2. It is a restricted waiting zone, with a single yellow line. But to discharge this, the driver has activated the hazards exempts.
  3. The driver is engaged in philanthropic educational activity.
It's that third item - philantrhopic educational activity - which is the greatest boon to Aberdeen "City and Shire" and so this the reason why this driver is our PaveParker of the Week!

Do you see the young mother, struggling to get the pushchair past the PaveParked vehicle on her way to the shops (which are on the other side of the sea of cars negotiating the mini-roundabout)?

Yes, that's the lesson for this young child, this baby Aberdonian:
"Welcome to life! Welcome to Aberdeen! City of cars where the pavements are for losers. Grow up fast, kid - and then you'll be able to get yourself a nice wee car and leave your days of pavement use behind."

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Barriers to the Uptake of Driving Really Nice Cars

They give with one hand, and they take away with the other.

On Aberdeen's Pitstruan Place, the driver of Aberdeen Car Jaguar XK8 Coupe reg. L1MJF with its 4.2 litre engine is faced with an infuriating dilemma.

The authorities have put in a 'traffic calming' raised platform to assist with PaveParking. Those low profile tires and alloys don't take kindly to bumping up kerbs! That's why we usually like those 'raised platform' things. They're nearly as good as dropped kerbs for helping with PaveParking.

But in this case, the raised platform access to the pavement is blocked. Yes blocked, not only by the tree, but also by a hated bollard. Plaudits are due to our Jag driver for showing willing and getting at least some of his tyres up and onto the pavement. Dedication!

This is the very opposite of joined-up thinking from our local government. If they want Aberdeen "City and Shire" to be a forward-looking city with lots of economic growth and people driving really nice cars, then these barriers must be removed forthwith so that the drivers of the very loveliest cars can get them properly up on the pavement where they belong - letting the traffic FLOW!

Monday 7 March 2011

New Holburn Street Cycle Lane - a Tribute

"They put in all these cycle lanes and everything for them. And then you never see any cyclists using them!"

We're delighed to report that our secret agent "Codename JannieJumbo" is back on track, reporting pro-motoring content from his deep cover "legend" working as an agent provocateur within the "pro-cycling advocacy community" in Aberdeen.

We were all the more glad of his contribution, because - as were all right-thinking motorists - we were horrified to discover that a new cycle lane has been installed on Aberdeen's historic "Road to the South" - Holburn Street.

Not only are we motorists having to endure the sight of cyclits and pestestrians showing off on the new bridge which connects the Old Deeside Line disused railway path from the western suburbs to the town centre, but we are also now being asked to tolerate them being allocated space on our carriageway!

But, a quick look at JannieJumbo's video settles our fears:

See that? See how the vast majority of motorists just ignore the cycle lane and encroach on it anyway? Delightful! By designing this cycle lane so very badly, the transport authorities in Aberdeen have managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. They are obliged to spend a "ring fenced" budget for "Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets" on this type of infrastructure, much to the frustration of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars. So, by using this budget to install infrastructure so bad that it is dangerous to cyclists, the ring-fenced budget is turned against them and is actually being used to discourage cycling. Subtle. Genius.

So, once again, we applaud the designers of Aberdeen's cycling infrastructure - they have designed it so poorly as to be an actual disincentive to the uptake of cycling as a serious mode of transport (which, of course, it isn't). We admire this type of kung-fu. Turning one's enemy's own weapons against themselves is fantastically skilled, and maintains "plausible deniability". Fantastic!

Friday 4 March 2011

MORE BAD NEWS for Aberdeen Cars in the Press and Journal

Consumed with inner conflict about the high price of petrol (bad for the drivers of Aberdeen Cars) and the high price of oil (good for economic growth in Aberdeen "City and Shire") we turned to our local journal of record, the venerable and redoubtable "Press and Journal" where comforting pro-motorist stories like this can usually be found:

Discontent over Pump Prices - in which the leader writer invokes the spirit of revolution in the Middle-east in calling for the put-upon drivers of Aberdeen Cars to rise up in their discontent and overthrow the government because of high petrol prices. Yay! Up the revolution! Right on! And we thought it was just the pestestrians and cyclits who were rebellious!

And this heart-warming story about radar-assist parking:

Reversing into the unknown after my beeps lose their ping

But then we saw this:

Bikes Buck the Trend in which the author says:

Demand for bicycles has almost tripled over the past 12 months, despite noticeable price hikes.

Evans Cycles, founded in 1921, ... last year increased annual profits by an extremely healthy 103%.

Evans’ success is, ironically, largely attributable to the economic downturn which has resulted in a sizeable number of people considering cheaper forms of transport. While other industries were contracting, the company opened four new stores last year, increasing its total to 36.
Cycling enthusiasts are fuelling the surge, as more people embrace pedal power. Cycle club membership has boomed as Britons have been bitten by the two-wheel bug.
Companies such as Evans Cycles and Halfords have benefited enormously from the government’s Cycle to Work scheme. Both organisations are part of the Cycle to Work Alliance, a body which has enabled more than 400,000 people to acquire a new bike.
Under the programme, tax-deductible bikes were made available for people wishing to pedal to work.

Now, let's see if you can grasp this - tax breaks for bicycles? Employer-subsidised bicycles? We needn't tell our readers - the hard-pressed hard-working tax-farmed beleaguered drivers of Aberdeen Cars what we find morally, commercially and capitalistically reprehensible about this 'scheme'. That bicycle manufacturers and retailers are 'benefitting' from the economic downturn is just typical of these people. They "reap the benefits" while ordinary people suffer. It makes my blood boil! But wait, the article continues...
However, new tax rules threaten to halt the popular initiative by making users pay more for their discounted bicycles. Employees prepared to sacrifice a small proportion of their salary were previously able to acquire a brand new bike at a discount of up to 50% on the shop price, depending on their tax band.
In effect, workers hired the bike from their employers, paying for it via monthly instalments deducted from their salary before tax.
These hire arrangements generally lasted between 12 and 18 months, after which the bikes were sold to employees for their fair market value. 
Up until August 2010, the tax authorities had not elaborated on what constituted fair, although most employers and employees accepted 5% of the original shop value was about right. However, HMRC decided the 5% figure was a gross under- valuation of most one-year-old bicycles.

All credit to the author of the Press and Journal article for trying his or her best to put a positive spin on it what with the changes to the potential magnitude of the tax subsidy for tax-dodging cyclists and everything, but we can't help thinking that this is just "whistling past the graveyard". But in any case, their dissembling PR-cookbook attempt to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt amongst potential cyclists is regrettably wrong and so might backfire.

As the HMRC tax authority website points out on here there is actually minimal change to the 'facts on the ground', with the potential cycle-commuter now liable to pay a maximum increased charge for their tax-and-employer-subsidised bike of just £10. Yes, Ten Pounds. That's no sort of disincentive at all!

There's no disguising the grave nature of this development: the fact that cycling is 'on the up' is an abomination to Aberdeen "City and Shire".

The Press and Journal should have left well alone. This news should have been suppressed.

Thursday 3 March 2011

The Right Way to Cycle for all the Right Reasons

We're delighted to see adverts in the local press of the upcoming "Ride the North" bike ride in support of the urological cancer charity UCAN.

Details of this "supported cycling" event can be seen on their website here. ("Supported" means that there's a van following.)

Proud Sponsors
We support this initiative because it serves a triple purpose:
  1. It supports charity. This is the Big Society in action.
  2. It supports it's sponsors: Gas and Oil Technology.
  3. It helps to demonstrate that cycling is a "special", unusual and noteworthy activity. It requires special permission, planning, preparation, sponsorship, "support" and a very good reason. 
We have to hand it to G.O.T. - this event is a perfect choice for them to sponsor. Recent initiatives which might promote mass-cycling in Aberdeen "City and Shire" have the potential undermine their client base by lessening demand for petrol, but this "Ride the North" event both helps G.O.T. to seem all "green" and "environmentally friendly" by appearing to support cycling, while all the time helping to keep cycling firmly in its place. Yes, cycling is a recreational activity only, a special activity, an activity which requires "support" - it is DEFINITELY NOT a serious mode of independent utility transport for everyday use as some people seem to think. We congratulate G.O.T. for this subtle bit of PR.

The website also says:
If your aspirations for 2011 involve ... learning more about what lies down those back-roads of the beautiful North East, then this might just be for you.
Thanks very much for that, we'd never have bothered otherwise, but now that it's for a good cause... 

Wednesday 2 March 2011

PaveParker of the Week! WVM reg. BK51WXU

This week's PaveParker of the Week is White Van Man (WVM) in charge of little Citron White Van reg BK51WXU

This WVM is doubtless engaged in Essential Service Work of National Importance (as are they all) and demonstrates two aspects of PaveParking which are important skills to master for the professional driver.

1. As Full as Possible PaveParking. The pavement isn't big enough for the van. But he's done his best, and this is worthy of note. Well done WVM!
2. Straddling the double yellows. Note that the double-yellows are so eroded on Aberdeen's granite-cobbled Bon Accord Lane as to be barely visible. This means that any parking fine will be unenforceable. Probably.

Top technique!