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 16 August 2012

Victory nearly complete!

A reader has submitted a YouTube video which we are delighted to embed below. The auteur has made and exhibited his film in order to demonstrate his fear and hatred of people getting about on bicycles. This is commendable, and we look forward to seeing many more films from him exploring this theme.

However, even the greatest works of art have a flaw, and we hope that the film-maker won't mind that we point out what has been missed. It's quite obvious, really. And it's actually really good news!

In his precis on the YouTube hosting page, the auteur expounds at length about how much he fears and hates people using bicycles on the pavement.We feel for him - no-one likes feeling frightened of stuff. But we also think that the video gives us reasons to be happy.

In the film, the priority given to motor traffic in the very centre of Aberdeen is demonstrated to have forced people on bicycles into conflict with people on foot. Can't our filmmaker see that this is exactly what is required?

For if conditions for people on foot and on bike have been made so very unattractive on the streets of Aberdeen "city and shire" that these people are squeezed into an ever-decreasing share of the urban realm, herded behind barriers and forced to use two-stage crossings with those enclosures in the middle which traffic engineers unblushingly call "sheep pens", then the logical conclusion will be that more and more of these people will abandon their attempts to use "active travel" and just get in the car for their city-centre shopping trips. Then our Victory will be complete! So we thank the film-maker for submitting this video which documents that every day we force more people on bikes off of our roads; and by doing so, we make it more and more likely that they will just take the car the next time they're thinking about going to Union Square for some Handmade Burgers. In this way Aberdeen City and Shire can help to pull the UK economy out of recession.

Check it out:

(aaargh! Royalty-free music soundtrack warning! Turn down your speakers!)

Friday 29 June 2012

Valuable Lessons for Mother and Baby

A CitizenContribution arrives in the Aberdeen Cars inbox:

    From:     [citizencontributerali]@yahoo.co.uk
    Subject:     CityLink - Kings of the Road and Pavement
    To:     aberdeencars@gmail.com
Dear Mr Skidmark, 

Yesterday the wee boy Jimmy and I were out for a push in the pram going through Culter and we saw this most excellent example of The big green and yellow parcel machine pavement parking. 

As you can see there was not enough space for little jimmy's pram to push between the van and the pavement, I had a choice, push into the oncoming traffic or go through the BP/[Expensive]M&S forecourt.   I chose the latter but still no space - the driver of the blue van further put me in my place by verbally communicating to me, and everyone else in earshot, it was a garage and not a playgroup for fornicating.  He's correct but what's a mum to do?

As we returned I realised how small and insignificant us pedestrians - and pram pushers are.  Please can you use your website to thank City-Link for teaching us such an important lesson.

Alison (& the wee boy Jimmy)

Of course, what CitizenContributor Alison has failed to point out is that the Citylink van WR08JFA is not only teaching mother and baby a valuable lesson about what's expected of a yummy mummy in Aberdeen "City and Shire", but is also fouling the cycle lane, thus demonstrating that cyclists are simply not wanted here.

But, that aside, all this begs the question: Why was Citizen Contributor Alison pushing a baby about the place outside? We considered reporting this case to social services - surely any mother who truly cares about her child would be transporting wee Jimmy in a nice safe warm dry car, like any good mother would. But, reading between the lines, we can tell that CitizenContributor Alison is in the process of learning the error of her ways, and will (pretty soon we hope) join in with mainstream society and get herself a nice wee car to ferry little Jimmy about the place. In this way, not only will she no longer stand out as a pedestrian, but will at last contribute to the necessary economic growth which makes Aberdeen "City and Shire" the economic powerhouse which will pull the whole of UKplc out of recession.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Aberdeen Taxis - providing vital public transport.

A confused and confusing e-mail arrives:

From: kjetil xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Bad parking on Cornhill Drive
Date: 2 May 2012 9:35:38 pm GMT+01:00
To: "aberdeencars@gmail.com"
Reply-To: kjetil xxxxxxxxxx

I dont know how to get a picture on your website and found it confusing, i saw this taxi parked on the pavement yet lady driving it said there was nothing wrong with her parking, its now been reported to taxi bosses and they said its not acceptable, children use this pavement yet idiots like that shouldnt have a licence, would you get in her car, her number plate SE08 PYO, Private Plate No.2.


Well, Kjetil (if that's your real name!). What you've failed to understand there is the fact that taxis in Aberdeen own the road. And the pavements too!

Friday 6 April 2012

Morrisons Supermarket - Consolidating Social Mobility

When our Big Society Prime Minister Mr David Cameron announced that, in future, council house tenancies were to have fixed terms in order to "increase social mobility" we knew what he meant. Encouraging those layabout social housing denizens to pull themselves out of the underclass, get decent jobs and proper mortgages and everything is something that everyone knows is a necessary measure to promote economic growth in these austerity times. And pulling the safety net of social housing away from these people after just a few years is just the kind of common sense, tough love policies which is sure to work a treat. Council houses will now be regarded as emergency housing, like a homeless shelter or asylum-seekers' hospital or the kind of half-way-house you get for battered wives, junkies, ex-cons and the like. Only by looking down on, looking harshly upon and severely punishing our social inferiors will we encourage them to buck up their ideas and so, "increase social mobility". We approve, and want to see this sort of "encouragement" rolled out across a wide range of policy spheres.

For example, this kind of social-mobility "encouragement" is definitely also applicable in the transport sphere. And - what's more - the motorists, businesses and local government of Aberdeen "City and Shire" show the way! You see - everyone knows that using the bus, walking or cycling is a sure sign of grinding poverty, and it's not the sort of thing we want to see on the prestigious streets of Aberdeen "City and Shire". So it's long been our policy, along with others, to encourage social mobility by discouraging walking, cycling or using the bus. We are delighted today to notice that an unnamed citizen contributor clicked the citizen contribution hot-link (over there on the right) and e-mailed aberdeencars@gmail.com with the message:

Oi Skidmark
Hve U ever sat in yr car on the Langstracht stuk in da trfc watchn the bus fly past - annoyn init
Well seems there nw a soltn to the prob see below, top mrks to the conclfor thinkn of it, Get rd bus ln!!!!!!!!!
Wl dn concl, well dn Morrisons

"All bus lanes near the store will be removed
to encourage traffic flow"
Straight out of the Aberdeen Cars playbook! Firstly denounce bus lanes - next, ignore them (the stage we've largely achieved today) - finally, scrap them altogether, as Morrisons and the council have planned.
This sends out all the right messages: we don't like buses; we don't want buses; and what's more - we don't need buses, because we've all been "encouraged" into our lovely cars which, now that we can look forward to the scrapping of the bus-lanes, will definitely flow about the place not only efficiently but also vibrantly, reducing pollution, saving fuel and boosting the economy. Once the economy is sufficiently boosted, everyone will be have enough money to afford a really nice car, and no-one will be able to plead poverty as excuse for making the place look all down-at-heel by walking, cycling or take the bus ever again!

Yes indeed: Well Done Council, Well Done Morrisons!

Monday 2 April 2012

Very Common

From: Anonymous Anomie <xxxx@xxxxxx.xxx.xxx>
Subject: Driving opened up to non car owners
Date: 2 April 2012 7:42:05 pm GMT+01:00
To: aberdeencars@gmail.com

Aberdeen City Council has just announced that it is expanding opportunties to drive "nice little cars" to non-car owners.  

On 2nd April Aberdeen City Council tweeted

Want to drive, but don't own a car? Why not join Aberdeen's first car club Commonwheels. There's more info here  Pls RT"
This provides an opportunity for those unfortunate enough to not own a "nice little car" to experience driving a choice of seven small "town cars" - five Kia Picantos and two Hyundai i10s - or for those with grander ambitions, there are three larger vehicles - Ford Fiesta Econetics or Kia Rios.
Congratulations to Aberdeen City Council for providing these opportunities to the non car owning citizen to experience the joy of driving.  Hopefully this will help wean degenerate elements from walking, cycling or the use of public transport.   
We look forward to citizens realising the error of their ways in not owning their own nice little car and an upswing in car driving in Aberdeen soon.


From: Aberdeen Cars
Subject: Re: Driving opened up to non car owners
Date: 2 April 2012 7:55:06 pm GMT+01:00
To: Anonymous Anomie 

Hey Anonymous!

Thanks for that, of course the first rule of Car Club is: "Nobody Speaks About Car Club". Haha!

To begin with, when we heard about Car Club, we thought along the same lines as you: yes, the opportunity for the non-car-owning un-people to get behind the wheel and learn the error of their ways. But then we leaned that these vehicles are to be branded "Common Wheels". Yes, "COMMON". Do you see what they've done there?

There being nothing quite so splendid as wealth and riches, and what with the people of Aberdeen City and Shire leading the way on generating the necessary economic growth to pull the rest of UK plc out of recession - we can see Aberdeen City Council's "Common Wheels Car Club" for what it its. It is in fact a clever piece of context framing from our city fathers who know what's best for us. The message is clear - small cars are "common", and if you have to share one via a car club you are doubly common. You are a "minker" in fact, if you use one of these. The big sign "COMMON" on the side of the car will make your status as part of the non-car-owning non-person underclass perfectly clear to all the important people who will roar past you on the streets of Aberdeen City and Shire in our three litre 4x4 German SUV's - in other words: proper cars, that is.

Status, of course, being the only motivating factor for people to do anything ever - who would willingly submit themselves the the public humiliation of sharing a car and being branded "common" into the bargain? No-one, that's who! At least, not the sort of person who's proud to live in Europe's Oil Capital. The fact that these cars are supposed to be "low emission" is doubly telling. This is saying that using petrol is bad, and that, by extension, the oil industry is bad. The ultimate conclusion of that sort of thinking would be that Aberdeen itself is bad! Car-sharing clubs are, therefore, Anti-Aberdeen. This is why the council has set this carshare scheme up with the intention of having it fail miserably. Then the parking spaces can be re-assigned to proper road-tax paying wealth generators - the true drivers of Aberdeen Cars.

Hope that sets your mind at rest.


Old Skidmark
Aberdeen Cars

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Top Tips on Turning Your Motoring Life Eco

As important drivers of nice big Aberdeen Cars, we bet that like us you're sick and tired of being lectured by meanie-greenie treehuggers about carbon emissions.

That's why we were delighted when local aspirational freesheet - the West End Gazette - plopped through the front door this weekend, containing as it did a section on "Top tips on turning your motoring life eco".

The publisher and editor of this free consumer/lifestyle mag, fat larger lady Sue Simpson echoes our above sentiment and says:
"There are some eco-warriors out there who believe that the humble automobile is the devil on wheels. But in recent years, car manufacturers have worked hard to change the car's planet-killing image..."
Her "Going Green" article then details some super tips on eco-driving like:

  • Think aerodynamic! Drive with the windows up, and remove stuff like roof-racks when you're not using them;
  • A clean car might be a pretty car, but do you need to do it every week? If you must make your 'pride and joy' the sparkling envy of all who see it, use a bucket and sponge to clean the car, rather than a hose. Even better, use "Miracle Drywash";
  • Try "green" cleaning products;
  • Use the SatNav to avoid getting lost, which wastes fuel;
  • Take the golf-clubs out of the boot;
  • Service the car at home so you can be sure to take used fluids, bulbs, other bits and bobs to the proper specific recycling centre.

As corpulent big boned Ms. Simpson says:
"[these] are ways you can cut your carbon footprint - and it doesn't have to mean walking!
Well thank Ford for that! We certainly wouldn't want to walk anywhere. Ever. Not ever ever ever ever ever. That would be the very opposite of progress. We're still waiting for drive-in banking to arrive in Aberdeen "City and Shire", but no - no, we're stuck with online banking.

The one criticism we have about obese cuddly Sue's Top Tips is that they manage to conflate material recycling and chemical toxicity with carbon emissions. Now, it's clear that she's done this with the best of intentions, to dilute any possible danger of scaremongering about the onrushing climate catastrophe. But, hasn't she heared? Global Warming will be GOOD for Scotland!

Tuesday 14 February 2012


A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about our approval of the dangerism propagated by the CTC (Cycle Touring Club)...
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.
...was what we said. Dangerism is marvellous, for it allows a pro-motoring message to be couched in terms of road safety. Similar approaches to 'safety' in transport choices can be seen all around. From the marvelous "Walkodile" for children to the propagation of cycle helmet and hi-vis clothing campaigns for cyclists, dangerism is always with us these days. On behalf of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars, we approve of all this dangerism, because it actually succeeds in getting across the message that walking and cycling are not safe, all the while absolving the blameless hard-pressed motorist of all blame. These are not "safety" campaigns, they are "danger" campaigns which serve the aim of frightening pestestrians and cyclists back into their cars, where they should be anyway! What we particularly like about all this road "safety" stuff is that it never ever ever suggests that the important drivers of Aberdeen Cars examine their own behaviour. Instead, these dangerist initiatives always focus on the potential victims of traffic "accidents", and put all emphasis on how the victims probably had it coming. After all, what did they think they were doing - deciding to walk or cycle in the first place? Everyone knows that it's common sense that walking and cycling are dangerous.

So now we congratulate our partners at Grampian Police, NHS Scotland, First Bus and Aberdeen City Council on their latest piece of dangerism: Operation Winter Walker, which is aimed at senior citizen pestestrians.

The Operation Winter Walker materials are full of dangerism best practice, emphasising the hazard and fear which the Police, the NHS, First Bus, and the council want old people to associate with walking.

"Don't Learn Road Safety By Accident!" shriek the Operation Winter Walker posters and handouts, subtly re-introducing the word "accident" into the transport lexicon. For some time now, the word "accident" has not been used by the authorities, and the word "collision" has been used instead: "RTC - Road Traffic Collision". We applaud this police-sponsored use of the word "accident", with its connotations of blamelessness for the drivers of Aberdeen Cars - it's a return to common sense attitudes at last, and a sign that the War on the Motorist is finally over.

However, we would be lax in our communitarian Big Society responsibility if we were not to point out that there is, perhaps, a pressing issue behind the necessity for Operation Winter Walker - and that's the fact that poverty is forcing senior citizens out of their cars and on to the pavements. Shame. It must be that, for what other reason could there possibly be for the older generation to choose to walk about the place, particularly in winter? It shames us as a society that our old age pensioners cannot afford to get about in a nice wee car.

Friday 10 February 2012

Pollution Victory for the Drivers of Aberdeen Cars

As important drivers of nice cars, we bet you're sick and tired of being lectured by meanie-greenie treehuggers about pollution.

Well, we're delighted to report that this problem has now been solved with the creation of an air quality monitoring system for Scotland, as reported on the BBC's flagship local news programme "Reporting Scotland". Watch the video if you can be bothered:

What we liked the best was the fact that no attempt is made to address the source of pollution, no attempt is made to suggest that motorists "just leave the car at home" or cycle or walk or get the bus or any other of that usual tiresome nonsense we usually hear so much of.

You see, 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 appeasing the so-called green lobby by putting up useless wind turbines which are useless.

No, here in Scotland we are taking an innovative approach to pollution. Instead of taking the politically suicidal step of blaming pollution on us hard-pressed put-upon and blameless motorists who, after all, are just trying to get on with a job, instead pollution here is regarded as being a bit like the weather, something that just happens, something that we can do nothing about, and the onus is now on the supposed so-called victims of pollution to provide themselves with knowledge about pollution levels and then just stay inside, taking no exercise of any kind. Good. Of course, these people will be safe from pollution if they just get into their nice cars and drive to work or the shops or the gym rather than cycling or walking there. That way, safe from pollution, they will not only be contributing to the economy, but they will also be contributing to beneficial global warming.

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.