Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A great underground experience!

I meant to post this a few weeks ago when I was down in Glasgow looking at the ugly new Transport Museum emerging down by the Kelvin. I haven't been on the underground for years and boy was I impressed. Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) the guys who run this show have really got their act together in recent times with advertising plastered about all over the place - on walls, on trains, on windows, on ticket machines and even on the floors. It looks great! Far better than the original brown and cream look from the 1980s. I'll tell you something else - if you go to some Continental cities like Berlin or London you won't see anything like this. They haven't got the advertising bug or frankly, the sheer class, that makes Glasgow's underground railway so great - it's in your face and must swell the coffers of the company massively.

Another great thing is that they save public money by shutting down the escalators at the busiest times of day which also saves on maintenance costs. Oh yes and I forgot to mention the booming public address system that puts the fear of death into fare dodgers. Overall I'm very impressed that a public organisation pretending to be a private company behaves in this exemplary manner.

But the SPT got caught out recently by the Council. They installed beautiful silver bollards at each station entrance to stop people taking their cars down to the platforms - a sensible move as the stairs are a bit steep in places. Anyway the Council discovered this and asked the SPT to submit retrospective planning applications for the bollards. How petty! It's about time Alex Salmond wrote some new laws for town planners to make them concentrate on the things that matter and not harass fantastic organisations like the SPT over trivial issues.

Incidentally you'll see in the photo above, the legs of a beggar sitting at the entrance to the subway - that's quite typical in Glasgow and the sooner this is dealt with the better it will be for everyone.

By the way, I forgot to mention that you can 'follow' me on Twitter now! Isn't the wide world web so great?


Mary Fisher said...

Dear Dave,

As I live in Glasgow I totally agree with you. The new security bollards in front of the subway entrances make me feel safe again. Before that I was always scared that some crazy terrorist would drive into the entrances, just as they did at the airport. This won't be possible anymore. Glasgow knows how to look after it's people and to make them feel safe!
So I can tell you that someone finally cut down some of the bushes and trees in the wee Bowling Green next to my house. No room for perverts to hide anymore! And no wet leaves sticking to my car anymore too.

All the best to you,

Dave Thompson said...

Hello Mary and thanks as always for your comments. As a town planner I am often worried about the issues raised by perverts hiding in trees. Perhaps more trees should be cut down in urban areas - good idea! With every best wish - Dave