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.

Monday 30 May 2011

Essential Services - Grouptyre/Kenway Tyres van SV03CZX

Here's our undercover agent "Codename JannieJumbo" cycling about maintaining his legend as an 'activist' within the so-called 'cycling community' in Aberdeen. This time, he gets taught a valuable lesson by the white van man driving the Grouptyre Van SV03CZX on Aberdeen's Great Western Road.

According to the Grouptyre website, they offer "an unrivalled delivery" service.

Woooh! Dramatic! "Unrivalled!"

That'll have left an impression on "Codename JannieJumbo" and that's for sure! Of course, the drivers of Aberdeen Cars know that the lesson which "Codename JannieJumbo" is being taught is all about priorities:
Cars have priority; Grouptyre/Kenway Tyres exist to service the needs of car drivers. So what's a cyclist doing on the road? He should be in the park, or on a cycletrack or something. And we bet he wasn't even wearing a helmet.

Friday 27 May 2011

Separation Principles?

As part of our distasteful work researching what's important to cyclists (I know, but somebody's got to do it), we came across this diagram from some Danish manual on cycle infrastructure:

Now, you can see the trap they've fallen into there. They've actually regarded cycling as something to promote, something to facilitate. And so they've ended up with stuff like this nonsense on Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

If only they'd adopted the UK model, then they could have the proper sort of car-priority infrastucture we enjoyed by the Drivers of Aberdeen Cars.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Worrying Statistics

We read with horror, disbelief, shock and fear that pedal-cycle numbers are on the sharp increase in Aberdeen. Latest figures from vegetarian war-on-the-motorist support group Aberdeen Cycle Forum show that year on year cycling in Aberdeen has increased by 18%.

Somebody once said that the misunderstanding of exponential growth is one of society's greatest problems, so let us spell that out for you...

You might be unconcerned: "A growth of 18% on top of what is a very low figure anyway need hardly trouble the busy and superior drivers of Aberdeen Cars" - we hear you say. But, an 18% year on year growth leads to a doubling period of just 4 years. Can you imagine? Double the amount of cyclists on our streets by 2015. And double that again by 2019. At this rate, the amount of cycling in Aberdeen "City and Shire" will reach and maybe even surpass our government's stated target of 10% of journeys in Scotland to be undertaken by bike by 2020. And to think, in our complacency the drivers of Aberdeen Cars once labeled this 10% target far-fetched and unrealistic, choosing instead to look forward to the certainty that zero-emission motor transport will be ubiquitous by the time the Aberdeen bypass opens in 2012.

We have been asleep at the wheel (not just taking photos from behind it) and have allowed the grass to grow beneath our tyres - our local press reports that motor traffic on our major city routes is at its lowest for years and years. In some cases motor traffic levels have dropped to a paltry volume not seen since 1995. Frightening - it is as if the ground has opened up beneath our sump-pans.

And into this vacuum the cyclists have swarmed like vermin. We think this sends out all the wrong messages about Aberdeen "City and Shire": It says we are a city and region that does not value its ability to buy really nice cars; it says we are a city that couldn't care less about economic growth. What with all those people cycling around Aberdeen these days rather than use their lovely big cars, the place is looking a bit like DSS-land or StudentVille or something.

That's why it's vital that we do everything we can to fight back - to support the planned road improvements which will draw more drivers in more cars into the heart of the city centre and park in the lovely new underground car park which the City Gardens Project has planned for us adjacent to our favourite piece of urban infrastructure - the Denburn Dual Carriageway. The measures which will support this are the Berryden Corridor Improvements, the Aberdeen Bypass, the Haudagain Improvements and our continued resistance to the pedestrianisation of Union Street.

But most importantly, it is vital that we do everything we can to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" Join our popular common-sense campaign to put roads and road planning and road users at the heart of city planning - where we belong! ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter)

Wednesday 25 May 2011

PaveParker of the Week! Wrights Catering YY05HFW

Congratulations to this week's PaveParker of the week, spotted outside the wee shoppie on the corner of Aberdeen's Broomhill Road and Balmoral Place.

Full PaveParking, PaveParkvertising. It's all pure PaveParking magic from Wrights Catering as they use the dropped kerb and pedestrian build-out at the junction to facilitate this highly accomplished anti-pedestrian maneuver.

Check out their delivery terms at www.wrightscatering.co.uk - they offer a free office delivery service, catering to the needs of the busy cubicle-bound drivers of Aberdeen Cars as they desk-dine their way to finding a way to hopfully trying to create some ideas which will generate some much-needed economic growth for Aberdeen "City and Shire".

Judging by how many of the flatted properties around the area pictured are "to let" it looks like economic growth is really very much required! If Wright's Catering and the like continue with their economic-growth generating motoring activities, we'll surely see those "to let" signs turning back into "for sale" signs soon! Here's hoping!

So we thank Wright's Catering - we thank them for supporting the drivers of Aberdeen Cars in their quest for an economic future, and we thank them for their pro-property anti-pedestrian activities in the west end of town. This sends out all the right messages and demonstrates that Aberdeen is one city which really knows where it's going.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Now THAT'S a great idea.

Car Enthusiast keeps Ferrari Parked in the Lounge.

At first we thought when we heard this news: This guy must be the driver of an Aberdeen Car. We'd even mentioned the fact that some drivers of Aberdeen Cars would do just what this guy has done, given the chance.

But then we read on... and discovered that this guy's Ferrari is second hand. Ugh! No self-respecting driver of Aberdeen Cars would be seen dead in a second hand Ferrari.

It just sends out all the wrong messages.

Monday 23 May 2011

Haudagain Victory!

look at all that congestion!
A victory, a triumph!

Haha! We very much enjoyed reading the news that the drivers of Aberdeen Cars have voted the Haudagain Roundabout the worst roundabout in Britain! Huzzah!

We think this is great. Great because it demonstrates just how highly motivated the drivers of Aberdeen Cars are. We all know that The Haudagain Roundabout isn't really all that bad (people who think that Aberdeen has traffic problems clearly don't travel out of the city much!).

Check out this vid from Glasgow:

No, the Haudagain's not that bad at all, nothing like it - but, given the chance, we'll complain bitterly. Have a look at this news video from STV:

Heh. Traffic flowing smoothly round the roundabout, no waiting to speak of at all throughout the report. Yet the talking head goes on and on about how bad it is and the motorists interviewed complain bitterly of hour-and-a-half waiting times and call for urgent solutions. Now that some car-rental company has complied with the wishes of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars and named the roundabout the "Worst in Britain" perhaps our city fathers will start acting on an urgent solution.

This is our favourite of the urgent solutions - and the on which Cllr. George Adam promotes in the STV video piece.

The demolition of the tenement blocks at Logie and Manor to make way for a relief road will make a hundred or so people homeless, but - em, whatever! That's DSS-land anyway. About these people we care not one jot.

In any case, we like the council's choice of words about the necessity to demolish the tenements in Logie and Manor - they say that building the relief road on the site of these homes will:
...contribute to the City Council’s regeneration aims by complementing the development of the Logie/Manor area of Middlefield.

The drivers of Aberdeen Cars - contributing and complimenting - by demolishing the dog-in-a-manger family homes which stand in the way of our lovely new road. Well, it is a "problem area" - it's probably best that this community is split up and moved on. It's for their own good.

Dog-in-a-manger family homes on the site of
OUR future relief road. Get them out!

Friday 20 May 2011

No no, First Bus - you use YOUR head!

We were really horrified and angry when, as we were sat inching forward in the heavy congestion on Aberdeen's world famous Union Street yesterday, a bus drove past us in the bus lane with this advert stuck on the back.

(Well, that's not the actual advert - obviously. We're not quite as good at taking photos while driving as some of the other drivers of Aberdeen Cars!)

Anyway, we felt affronted and insulted by this outrageous insult. How dare First Bus tell me to "use my head"! Are they suggesting that the driver of Aberdeen Cars are ignorant? Are they suggesting that the occupants of the bus (usually DSS-ville or student-land bound) are somehow cleverer than me? I would like to point out that if they think that these freeloaders are so clever, where is their nice car? Eh? Where? Come on, where is it? And where is their road-tax disk? "No pay, no say!"

What these First Bus people fail to realise is that 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 like them expect them to ‘leave the car at home’, while their money is spent creating bus lanes and the like for freeloading poor people.

Many people in Aberdeen invest a lot of time and money in their cars, This is a natural way of gaining respect from those who will see them in their nice cars with cherished plates. To spoil this effect (e.g. when freeloaders overtake them in a bus) understandably infuriates the drivers of these nice cars - the drivers of Aberdeen Cars.

So, let's get Aberdeen moving, let's do the only sensible thing we can. Scrap the bus lanes. What are we waiting for?


What's particularly gauling is that First Bus have proably paid some oh-so-clever PR outfit to come up with this insulting advert. Don't they know that you'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? That's why we do nothing but offer praise to the drivers of Aberdeen Cars in our efforts to get them to join our our popular campaign to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter)

Thursday 19 May 2011

Aberdeen SUPER-Cars

Sometimes, we get a bit down. Too much time documenting the activities of the cycling advocacy (so-called) community, too many advances by the Sinister Forces of Re-allocation, too many parking restrictions, and even the advances by the rail lobby all take their toll.

So, sometimes it's necessary for us to comfort ourselves, and luckily, there's a YouTube channel which sorts us out straight away:

Aberdeen Supercars (part 20)

Ah, that's better. Feel all 'aspirational' again!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

PaveParker of the Week! DV10OXB - the Gentle Art of PaveParking.

This week, our prestigious PaveParker of the Week award goes to the driver of Aberdeen Car Vauxhaull Astra 1.4t 16v SRi 140 yes, that's the 1.4t 16v SRi 140 with the reg. no. DV10OXB, as spotted on the city's Allenvale Road.

We thought it was time for the PaveParker of the Week award to get back to basics. Over recent weeks we've shown that the enterprising drivers of Aberdeen Cars, in their relentless search for sources of economic growth, have found new and innovative, clever ways to ensure that traffic flow (the fountainhead of economic growth) is maximised. We've shown that the business-savvy drivers of Aberdeen Cars have sought to achieve this via advanced PaveParking techniques.

These techniques have included:

  1. Full PaveParking
  2. The Double-Yellow Straddle
  3. Chevron PaveParking
  4. Bollard-Thwarting
  5. PaveParkVertising
  6. Wingmirror Flipping
  7. Cycle- Parking-lane annexation by overwhelming force

All of which is impressive, clever, advanced and innovative; demonstrating the business-friendly credentials of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars and their prioritisation of traffic flow.

But, we think our advocacy of these advanced PaveParking methods is, perhaps, daunting to the novice - the coming generation. Every PaveParker has got to start somewhere - you've got to walk before you can run. And so that's why it's time to give our PaveParker of the Week award to the driver of this charcoal-grey 1.4t 16v SRi 140 Astra.

The driver of this Aberdeen Car shows us the basics of PaveParking - two wheels up. Yes, the driver of this car demonstrates the very distilled essence of the Gentle Art of PaveParking.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Sinister Forces of Re-allocation. Guild St

Can you see what's wrong with this picture? Yes, that's right - it's the most insidious threat to the drivers of Aberdeen Cars - the Sinister Forces of roadspace re-allocation have been at work.

At first, you might not notice what's happened. But then you'll see the oddly-curtailed road-markings, the strange mid-pavement placing of a lamp-post. A mid-pavement gutter. And then you realise - the pavement has been built-out onto the motorists road-space! What?! We can see no good reason at all for this unilateral annexation of the roadtaxpayer funded carriageway space in favour of the tax-dodging pestestrians.

The location is Aberdeen's Guild Street and this road forms part of the vital giratory system at the heart of the city's inner-city ring-road. Where once the giratory was three-lanes wide, now it is pinched to just two at this spot outside the Station Hotel. That's a 33% re-allocation in favour of the scroungers.

From this giratory, important executives in their nice Aberdeen Cars are distributed west to the ever-popular upmarket villas of Ferryhill, south to the oil-industrial estates of Tullos and Altens and north on the Denburn Dual Carrageway to the rest of the city. This makes it all the more perplexing and worrying to us that the anti-car, anti-economy, Sinister Forces of roadspace reallocation have chosen this spot to go about their foul business increasing the size of the pavements. We understand that this extended footspace (is that what it's called?) is intended to 'accommodate' increased pestestrian flow between the Trinity Centre shopping mall and the Union Square shopping mall. But that can't be right; both these malls have large car-parks, so what sort of person would want to walk between the two and get all windswept?

A closer look at the photo above perhaps gives us some clues. Not one of these people is wearing a suit. None of them carries a briefcase. What with all those casually-dressed people walking 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.We can only thank Ford that they are constrained behind those aluminium railings, lest they just come out of nowhere and endanger our no claims bonuses!

But, on a very serious note, this roadspace reallocation work sets a dangerous precedent. We are aware that the Sinister Forces of re-allocation are girding their loins and have the Denburn Dual Carriageway in their sights. That's why it's vital that all Aberdeen Drivers of good faith join our our popular campaign to to "Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway!" ('like' us on FaceBook, 'follow' us on Twitter)

Our numbers are swelling. Our collective voice will be heard!

Monday 16 May 2011

Edinburgh Trams Could Be Scrapped

We must congratulate our colleagues at Edinburgh City Council and in the capital's business community for their fabulous Kung Fu in making a total farce and failure of the project to re-install a tram system in the capital.

The constant delays and disruption have succeeded in turning the people of Edinburgh against the tram project, and against public transport bodies in general. Not only that, the management of this project is helping to demonise all public sector initiatives and workers. What a result! Contractor disputes, a skeptical press and an outright hostile motoring lobby have all added up to a now almost completely discredited public works project which had been supposed to deliver 21st century public transport infrastructure [sic]. We reckon this is fantastic work by those figures in the city council, chamber of commerce and city centre traders association who have pulled off this clever coup - and all before a single tram has run on the streets of 'Auld Reekie'!

And now we read in the weekend's newspapers that council chief executive Sue (the) Bruce is preparing to administer the coup-de-grace. With the righteous sword of business indignation in her hand she stands ready to kill the project forever, and with it any hopes of other tram restoration projects across Scotland. We can't tell you how excited we are about this forthcoming victory for the drivers of Edinburgh Cars, and by extention the drivers of all Scotland Cars, especially Aberdeen Cars (of course; because our cars are the nicest, and we have the best and most cherished plates in the country).

Well we remember Sue Bruce and how she put the needs of business first (by prioritising car traffic flow) when she held the chief executive post at Aberdeen City Council. She is much missed, but we're delighted to see her continuing her important pro-car work on the streets of the nation's capital - streets upon which will it soon be safe for the drivers of Edinburgh Cars to speed about, park, and go about their important business - it'll create a real feeling of bustle in the capital, when its streets are full of cars again and the important people get to call the shots once more. For they are the drivers of cars - the fountainhead of economic growth. Trams are for other countries, other countries where they do not prioritise economic growth as much as we do.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum is On Our Side

As our ongoing research into the activities of Aberdeen's so-called cycling community continues, we are obliged to visit websites we wouldn't otherwise visit and read newsletters we wouldn't otherwise read. Yes, it's a nasty job, but somebody's got to do it.

However, to our great surprise we find that, in common with our own undercover agent (Codename JannieJumbo) the so-called cycling activists are actually double-agents promoting policies which will actually benefit the drivers of Aberdeen Cars! We delightedly exposed the pro-motor activities of CTC Grampian the other day, and so today we've been looking at the activities of that other cycling 'pressure group' - Aberdeen Cycle Forum (ACF). And we were delighted by what we saw on their website!

Firstly, their website abounds with the word "challenge": Aberdeen Cycle Forum Challenge, Chief Executive Cycle Challenge, Annual Commuter Challenge. Brilliant! The message is clear - cycling is a challenge, something hard, something difficult and unusual, like mountaineering or world-record attempts.

Secondly, we notice a little bit of friction between Aberdeen Cycle Forum and CTC Grampian over the issue of bike lanes at pedestrian refuge pinch points. We do not propose to examine the esoterica of this arcane dispute, it is enough for us to note that the two groups are at each other's throats over this inconsequential piece of nothing. Divide and conquer; as long as these two groups are busy knocking lumps out of each other over this and other issues, they will not impinge upon the activities of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars. Good.

Sling up a sign. That's all that's needed to keep
the cyclists quiet, and more importantly -
out of our way!
Thirdly, and probably the most clever piece of tradecraft exhibited by the Aberdeen Cycle Forum double agents, is that ACF appear to be in love with the 'shared use' pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure which we see popping up all over the place in Aberdeen "City and Shire" these days. Everywhere we look there are "Dual Use" paths and "Toucan" crossings. Brilliant. These serve our aims in four ways. One - they encourage cyclists to get off our road and out of our way. Two - they make the authorities appear to be doing something green, something for the cyclists, all the while spending the very minimum and not actually doing very much at all in the way of creating suitable new infrastructure for cycling. Three - these dual-use facilities do not reduce the amount of roadspace allocated to cars, while in effect reducing the amount of space available for walking (by forcing cyclists onto the pavement) and marginalising cycling (by treating cyclists as equivalent to pedestrians). And four - they put pedestrians and cyclists into direct conflict, making the cycling experience difficult and making the walking experience unpleasant and dangerous. All of this couldn't suit us better! The more the disincentives to walking and cycling which groups like ACF manage to put into place the lower the uptake of cycling and walking as transport modes around Aberdeen "City and Shire" and the higher the modal share for cars.

Finally, in their newsletter material, ACF are usually keen to picture themselves. In contrast to the trendy aspirational look promoted by successful cycle advocacy groups worldwide (like the infamous Copenhagen Cycle Chic), ACF rock a quite different look.

But which...
...is which?
As everyone in Aberdeen "City and Shire" knows, more cars on more roads is the one and only way to ensure that the necessary economic growth is created to enable Aberdeen to pull the rest of UK plc out of recession. We therefore applaud and thank Aberdeen Cycle Forum for working so hard to put barriers in the way of the uptake of cycling as a mass transportation mode, for their craven kowtowing on behalf of all Aberdeen cyclists to the needs of motor-transport, and for their enviable success in making those cyclists look like total arseholes. Thank you very much.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

PaveParker of the Week! SV10YYL

To the winner go the spoils! This weeks winner of our coveted PaveParker of the Week award is the driver of Aberdeen Car Vauxhaull Corsa SRi reg. SV10YYL

Employing the Full PaveParking tactic on the corner of Gray Street opposite Broomhill School, the driver of this Aberdeen Car is doing sterling work for the community.

Kept safely as they already are behind pedestrian railings (where they need not trouble our no-claim bonus), corralled and penned by the aluminium, banned from playing football in the playground (lest the ball go out of the playground and into the path of a passing car, causing the driver to mis-spell something as he or she texts her estate agent) the children of Broomhill Primary are rightly schooled from a very early age that being outside is dangerous and that walking to school is second-best; walking to school is for losers; cars have precedence.

This week's PaveParker takes this lesson that little bit farther by demonstrating that the pavements too are for cars, not pedestrians. Congratulations.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Cycle Touring Club CTC Grampian Is On Our Side.

We know, surprising - isn't it? The Cycle Touring Club (CTC) pro-cycling activist pressure group, on our side? Well, we're delighted to report that yes they are.

As part of our distasteful duties as vigilant advocates on behalf of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars, sometimes we have to look at the material which these groups disseminate. Ugh! It's a nasty job, but we're happy to do it on behalf of all the sensible people who drive nice cars around Aberdeen "City and Shire". We were looking at the CTC Grampian webpages today, and were delighted by what we saw.

Here's the 'newsletter':

PDF here

Note the whimsical name 'Cycle Clips'. Note the extensive use of the whimsical "comic sans" font, note the use of an authoritative yet whimsical chatty tone and note the whimsical 'pub genius' punning. From time to time in the past the editor has strayed off-topic altogether to show us badly-faked spoof photos of unrelated whimsical stuff he found on the internet. The newsletter looks and reads more like a parish church intimation sheet than anything else. All good stuff which makes cycling look like an outlier hobby, a minority pursuit like pigeon-fancying or whittling walking sticks; but what we really liked in January's 2011 (unfortunately, no longer online) CTC Grampian newsletter was this:

The October Newsletter questioned whether, in these days of cycling popularity, campaigning for cycling was really necessary. The case for cycling has been won, we should not go over the top and too much “campaigning” is like kicking in open doors. These remarks caused a bit of a flutter among Right-to-Ride “campaigners”. They do valuable work in giving advice to authorities if they need it. The words and Right-to-Ride and Campaign, however, do not do a service to cycling: they are too aggressive, especially when every authority, from high to low, is by law in favour of promoting cycling.
(our emphasis)
Yes, now that cycling has reached the statistically insignificant level of approaching a 2% share of journeys in Aberdeen "City and Shire", CTC Grampian rightly consider their work done. Yes, we agree, 2% is more than enough. Indeed, they go on to openly state that there are too many cyclists in London and Amsterdam, and that our own Deeside Line (whassat?) in Aberdeen is too busy with cyclists at the weekend.

There you have it. Like us, CTC Grampian doesn't want more cyclists out and about ruining everything for everyone. Not for them any thought that cycling might be for utility, shopping, commuting; no - cycling is for organised and planned 'runs' (often with 'car assist'). They just want a handful of old men on old bikes going about their genteel old-fashioned whimsical hobby from back in the day when there were only two kinds of bikes - "racers" or "tourers".

One entry states:

...once in a while I yearn for the good old days when it was just me and a few old fellow cyclists.
We agree, and we offer a vote of thanks to CTC Grampian who work on our behalf to keep cycling in its place as a fun hobby, an old-fashioned leisure pursuit for old-fashioned people, something which requires special planning, permission and equipment; a whimsical activity which makes you look like an out-of-touch old fool in a clown outfit. We particularly enjoy the fact that it is these people who, when the authorities (local or national government) are consulting on transport issues, it is the CTC they turn to for the cyclist's view. This fact makes us laugh out loud. Yes, we laugh all the way to the petrol station.

And here they are, CTC Grampian in all their glory - speaking on behalf of and representing all cyclists in Aberdeen "City and Shire"!

Aberdeen Cycle Chic. Aren't they lovely?

Monday 9 May 2011

Community Cycling Initiative Need Not Trouble Us

Aberdeen Community Cycle Challenge logo.

Wait a minute - on the left - he's not wearing a helmet!

We were initially concerned when we heard about Aberdeen City Council's "Community Cycle Challenge". Of course we were concerned - anything which promotes cycling is against our core values and primary aim of increasing the number of cars on the ever-increasing number of roads in Aberdeen "City and Shire". (We think economists call this "The Multiplier")

But then we realised that our council is engaged in some quite clever misdirection here. Firstly the name "Community Cycle Challenge". Yes: "Challenge". The message payload which is freighted within the very name of this initiative says that cycling is a challenge - difficult, unusual - like polar exploration, pot-holing, calligraphy or learning Japanese.

Further research comforted us more. This "Community Cycle Challenge" has been developed by pro-car local transport quango NESTRANS "in order to help a local community deliver an increase in cycling trips across a defined project area." Yes - a "defined project area". In this case the areas in question are covered by tiny local parish councils. This initiative will, we're delighted to report, do nothing to increase the number of cycle journeys taken across town or between individual project areas. If it achieves anything, the project will only create cycling 'ghettos'. And indeed this is confirmed; the one and only project which will be getting the go-ahead is in the tiny local area immediately around Greenbrae Primary School in the far flung Bridge of Don suburb.

This area at Bridge of Don was chosen as the one and only "Community Cycle Challenge" zone because of its participation in the risible "In Town, Without My Car!" day last year. This EU mobility initiative is intended to shut roads to motor traffic, like Broadway and Times Sq in New York have now done. But, of course, in Aberdeen we're wiser than that! New York has nothing to teach us! There's simply no way that we could ever stop important motorists from getting to the shops by car to create economic growth on a Saturday. So instead we closed the road outside a suburban primary school for a few hours on a Wednesday.

"In Town, Without My Car!"

All sorts of pointless and laughable activities were undertaken on that day in order to marginalise and humiliate the car-less. Fancy-dress was encouraged; a Grampian police officer delivered a "safety" lecture which emphasised how dangerous walking and cycling are; and a world record attempt involving synchronised cycle-bell tinging was undertaken. There was a fair-trade café run by hippy crusties. The message was clear - cycling and walking are for weirdly-dressed losers who don't care about their own safety; these activities require special permission from the authorities, need special planning and equipment and at best are whimsical and time-wastingly pointless activities.

Thus we must thank our local council for defusing that dangerous initiative and dis-arming its anti-car message. Firstly, Aberdeen City Council placed it in the context of a child-centred event (adults don't walk or cycle, and we should never ever suggest that they might or could, let alone should). Secondly, they succeeded in subverting and diverting the event in order to reinforce the message that walking and cycling are bizarre minority activities. Far better that these children remain apprehensive and in fear of independent travel and get used to the idea that they should aspire to getting about in a nice car when they grow up. We are pleased that the new ostensibly pro-cycling "Community Cycle Challenge" is being dealt with in a similar manner, and so is being subtly subverted to deliver a pro-car message. Brilliant!

So, this new "Community Cycle Challenge" initiative will not, thanks be to Ford, attempt to make any changes to the vital car-driving habits of the important people who generate economic growth in Aberdeen "City and Shire". Nor will it make any impact on the coming generation. No, this project will merely try to get some primary school kids in one area on the outskirts of town to cycle to school across the park once in a while.

Ford's in his flivver, all's right with the world.

Walking and Cycling in Aberdeenshire

Friday 6 May 2011

Sinister Forces of Re-allocation. Funded by Tax on the Poor.

The sinister forces of roadspace re-allocation have run amok in central Aberdeen. The city's historic "The Green" area has been very badly affected.

But we are conflicted - it seems that this continental-style pestestrian-friendly "streetscape initiative" was funded by a tax on the poor. While we approve of taxes on the poor, we totally disapprove of them being spent on re-allocating roadspace away from the clever, rich, important drivers of Aberdeen Cars.

One ray of hope, though - if you look carefully in the photo below - you can see the tyre-marks of one determined driver of an Aberdeen car who has been ignoring the roadspace reallocation and zooming through The Green on his or her way to engender some economic growth by spending his or her salary at Union Square. And quite right too!

Plans are afoot to re-allocate the precious roadspace of that other historic part of Aberdeen city centre - the Heritage Dual Carriageway at Denburn Road. We are worried that the poor-tax funded re-allocation of the roadspace at The Green will serve as an exemplar for this project. So support our campaign to Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway. 'Like' us on FaceBook, 'Follow' us on Twitter.

Thursday 5 May 2011

Essential Services - D R Joinery ND07BXU

After the sainted Thatcher sold most of them off to their grasping and credulous incumbent tenants just a few unsellable tower-block flats remained of our council housing stock, a liability on the local authorities of Aberdeen "City and Shire". Though we have nothing but contempt for those less fortunate than ourselves (it's their own fault, isn't it?) we concede that from time to time it is necessary that what little remains of our council housing stock must be maintained.

Yes, no-matter how much we wish our Council Tax revenues did not have to be spent in this way, maintained they must be, so we were pleased to see that the van of D R Joinery made best use of the undercroft courtyard space at Aberdeen's "Gilcomston Land" tower-block to park while carrying out this begrudged maintenance. This parking strategy blocked the main door and fire exit of the tower-block above - thus letting the freeloading tenants know just where they stood in the greater scheme of things.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

PaveParker of the Week! SV57UMO

In contrast to the rest of the west, economic growth continues apace in Aberdeen, thanks to the very high oil price. That high price itself maintained in part by the continued efforts of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars to use as much petroleum as possible.

More driving; higher oil price; more economic activity in Aberdeen; more driving. And so on and on in a virtuous cycle which leads to continually higher standards of living for the drivers of Abedeen Cars forever and ever.

Sounds great, doesn't it? But there's one problem. Because of the anti-business nimby naysayers who are stymieing plans to create a huge new underground multi-story carpark in the city-centre (on the site of a useless public park - hey, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs!) the clever innovative drives of Aberdeen Cars have to take all measures necessary to ensure that there's somewhere to park their nice cars.

That's why this weeks winner of our PaveParker of the Week accolade is the driver of Aberdeen Car Vauxhall Astra 1.4i "Life" (ooooooh!) reg. SV57UMO, demonstrating best practise on Aberdeen's Springbank St.

Caring not a jot for people less important, the driver of this Aberdeen Car shows his superiority by occupying more of the pavement than could allow a pestestrian to pass, and doing the "double yellow straddle". This shows that this driver is clever, innovative and superior. And it demonstrates the devil-may-care attitude to authority which characterises the sort of entrepreneur so common in Aberdeen - the city which is "one to watch"; the city which will pull the rest of UK plc out of recession.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Grampian Police - Bobbies on Bicycles

We were horrified to read that there is to be 200% increase in the number of Grampian Poice bobbies going about on bicycles. Horrified, that is, until we learned that this is an increase from one bobby on one bicycle to three bobbies on three bicycles, in a very rural area. Nothing to see here. Move along now... It's not as if these cycling officers are going to be in urban areas getting in the way of the important drivers of Aberdeen Cars as they nip about creating much needed economic growth.

We read the details as part of our distasteful undercover research on the Aberdeen Cycle Forum Spring Newsletter.

Grampian Police's Sgt. Inness Coull said:
The feedback we have had in relation to our previous Police bicycle was positive ... This investment has also allowed us to redeploy our original bicycle to another area of Garioch to boost our visibility there.

Monday 2 May 2011

Railway "Aspiration" for Peterhead

Crisis news in today's Press and Journal where the momentum for 'restoring' the railway branch line to Peterhead appears to be growing. This deplorably backward bunch of trainspotters are getting in the way of the development of new dormitory suburbs at Cruden Bay. The full realisation of this development of lovely new aspirational homes for cubicle clones high value human resource operatives who work in Aberdeen's nationally important and burgeoning spreadsheet wrangling make-work energy sector (which is supported by high oil prices, themselves sustained by the necessity to commute 50 miles) is being stymied by the need to keep rail corridors as if they were sacrosanct.

According to the report an Aberdeenshire council official said:
“The policy identifies unused railway lines as ‘safeguard sites’ where they may contribute to the development and delivery of the modern transport system ... A Peterhead railway line remains as an aspiration in the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans) strategy."
This is backed up by local website PeterheadOnline.com who say:
The provision of rail would likely be a greater attractor for trips to and from Aberdeen and may result in a larger Aberdeen commuter-based community in the area. Any provision for rail should also recognise the potential for rail freight and road-rail transfer at Peterhead.
The possibility of bringing trains back to Peterhead was first suggested in a Scottish Executive study in 2003.
Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banff and Buchan, welcomed the recommendations.
He said: “I think that the north-east is one of the last corners of Scotland where there is genuine potential railway in the future.”
And, indeed, the NESTRANS quango is the source of all this twee regard for rail and rail-buffs, for in their Regional Transport Strategy to 2021 document there's lots of talk of restoring railway lines which Dr Beeching so sensibly axed in favour of the freedom and joy of the motor car back in the 1960's. The Peterhead line closed in 1979.

All nonsense, of course. Everyone knows that what is needed is a nice new dual carriageway between Peterhead and Ellon; just like these sensible Facebook folk advocate on their page "Vote for a Dual Carriageway - Peterhead/Ellon Road". We like this page, because as well as the sensible calls from the drivers of Aberdeen (City and Shire) Cars for a new dual carriageway, it also contains some brilliant instances of that most Aberdonian of pastimes - taking photos while driving.

We hadn't heard of the Peterhead/Ellon Dual Carriageway Facebook pressure group before today, so we're delighted that we are not alone in using Facebook to promote the interests of those who support dual carriageways in Aberdeen City and Shire. Support our campaign to Save the Denburn Dual Carriageway. 'Like' us on FaceBook, 'Follow' us on Twitter.

Not all of these campaigns are successful. The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route page on Facebook is currently a bit unloved and unliked.