Friday 8 December 2023

We Need To Reduce Motor Car Use

 ... But Don't Go By Bus?

We all want to save the planet - don't we?
Of ourse the planet will save itself as it has done for 26,000,000 years. It's humanity we want to save.

We all want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels - don't we?
we'll think about that when we have filled up our tank.

We all want to reduce our consumption of processed foot and eat more gritty stuff - don't we.?
As long as we can have burger and chips every so often!

And we would all use public transport - wouldn't we? - IF ONLY ...
Buses were as convenient and as frequent as our car.

The fbbs once visited the Falkirk Wheel. They took a train from Girvan, crossed Glasgow by foot; too a train to Falkirk and a bus to The Wheel. It was service 3 ...
... which stopped right outside the visitor centre and ticket office.
In the fbbs strode to pay for their tide on a boat that would take them up and down via the big box of water that rotated on TWO very misshapen wheels!
"Sorry, we are fully booked for today" came the disheartening reply. So, after watching a few rotations, the fbbs went back to their holiday pad.

It was far, far cheaper and far less stressful than going by car. The AA will tell you that the cheapest car on the market actually costs the average motorist 53p per mile to own and run.

 H efty
 H ikes for
 H oliday
 H appiness

Please note the "hike" is the strenuous travel by foot, not the weird use of the word to mean a price increase.

fbb did not visit the Kelpies ...
There were two reasons for that sad neglect of Falkirk's tourist attractions. Firstly, there wouldn't have been time but, secondly, they hadn't been built yet.

To encourage visits by public transport, Scottish Tourism subsidised "The Loop" ...
... running every hour between the two as route 100 but not advertised as such.
Frankly, an hourly frequency is not good enough to attract possible visitors to travel to both without a car; but with careful planning it was possible. 

There was a pink shelter at The Wheel ...
... which wasn't pink when fbb visited.

There is a pink shelter at the Kelpies ...
... but fbb has never seen it. Pink shelters painted to match  pink bus - good branding, good publicity ...
... and matching shelters.

But it didn't last; the money ran out

The 3 to the wheel became a 6 ...
... still every 30 minutes; until enterprising First Bus cut the frequency to every hour!
Them in June of this year (?) McGills withdrew route 6 completely, meaning that there were no buses at all to The Wheel.

There was a tendered replacement for the 6 to Tamfourhill (check it on the map)
But the F14A does not run to the pink shelter at The Wheel visitor centre. It is quite a long walk and not terribly obvious. Quicker, as shown on the map above, is a short trot from the 7/8 terminus.

It may now be signposted, but it wasn't when Streetview chuntered past. From the 7/8 terminus ...
... you get off the bus at the lavish terminal loop (no shelter of any colour) and walk round to the left. After a few yards take a rather ordinary footpath.
The path curves round to join the north bank of a former canal ...

... and over a footbridge and; bingo, there you are. It is not far, but off-putting; certainly way way different from that shelter outside the visitor centre!

fbb can find no record of any bus to the Kelpies except The Loop. If there was anything else, it certainly did not last long.

Today, there are several ways of getting to the Kelpies by bus, all of them unsatisfactory and with lengthy walks.  Coincidentally the other end of the tendered F14A is one way to get to the tin horses.
There is the stop ...
... and there are footpath routes from the 2/2A and the 3/4 (above in RED).

For the F14 the road is long and winding ...
... and long ...
... and winding ...
... and winding ...
... until the Kelpies appear/

fbb finds them scary!

The name was chosen by Scottish Canals at the inception of The Helix project in 2005, to reflect the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of ten horses. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges, and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area.

One thing is absolutely certain. Whilst you might be brave enough to ride the non-pink 7/8 bus to near The Wheel, you would be unlikely to try to reach the Kelpies by public transport. You would take the car. Obvious!

Clearly the Loop was unviable commercially. BUT if we are really serious about saving the planet, cutting back on fossil fels, using public transport and enjoying a gritty diet, the commercial model will not deliver
The fbbs are in holiday on the Isle of Wight until Monday.
Yesterday's journey was horrid!
Heavy rain and standing water 
all the way.
APOLOGIES for any inadequacies
In Holiday blogs.

Again, the main stories are still reasonably well known - or maybe half well known! Empowered by God, Moses goes to the Pharoah and demands that his enslaved people be let go. For obvious reasons, the Pharoah is not overly keen on the God plus Moses plan.

At each refusal a disaster befalls the Egyptians. 

Even after the death of the oldest child in Egypt, a disaster that will pass over the Hebrews, the Pharoah is recalcitrant. His mighty army follows the departing rag-bag of Hebrews who set out across the REED Sea. (Red Sea is a mis-translations of Yam Suph, the sea of reeds, probably part of the Nile Delta).
Whatever the explanation, the Bible Message is very clear. God saved them from the Egyptian army!

But this was just the start of a perilous and challenging journey to the "Promised" Land. 
What the Hebrews needed was a guide book showing how to make it all work.

 H elpful
 H oliness
 H andbook

We call  the Holy Handbook "The Ten Commandments", just two small chunks of rock each with five Hebrew words inscribed thereupon.
Forget about Moses stumbling down the mountain trying to carry two great gravestones. The message was small and perfectly formed. Here it is in English.

Put God First
No Fake Gods
Don't Misuse God's Name
Have A Day of Rest
Respect Your Elders
Do Not Murder
Keep Sexually Pure
Do Not Steal
Fo Not Accuse Anyone Falsely
Be Content with What you Have

However you translate the Hebrew, the principles remain good and wholesome. Life is more complex now than it was for Moses - but the above is a good start. 

Most of us fail on the first one!
 Next I ABC blog : Saturday 9th December 

1 comment:

  1. No one wants to save the planet if it is inconvenient for them to do so!