Monday, 13 December 2010

Vagrants and jakies to visit the big cities

the new railway undoes the good work of Dr Beeching at huge expense to the public purse
You know, I don't often write about public transport as I prefer my car but I'm making an exception today because of the great news that was quietly announced over the weekend for junkies and alkies across Central Scotland. Yes, the Airdrie to Bathgate railway link has been completed, allowing vagrants and jakies from the welfare villages of Caldercruix, Armadale and Blackridge to visit Glasgow and Edinburgh. But if their ambitions are not quite of a metropolitan leaning, they can visit Airdrie, Coatbridge or Bathgate instead for their methadone and Super-Lager.

It cost £300m to re-establish this passenger service between North Lanarkshire and West Lothian enabling the plebs to visit the big cities of Scotland for the first time in 54 years. The new 15-mile track allows trains to run all the way from the West of Scotland through Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh, via Airdrie and Bathgate. That's a lot of money to undo the good deeds of Dr Beeching isn't it? I mean if there were any respectable people living in these forgotten airts, they would surely have a Mercedes, a BMW or a big fancy Jaguar like some of the property surveyors I know, so they would never use the train. The idea that the creative classes of Blackridge and Armadale can be literally fast-tracked to the Edinburgh Festival seems ridiculous to me and is a complete waste of public money.
 a great yellow example of public art now lost under the wheels of the jakie train
Moreover, some of the wonderful examples of public art along the route, which had become a cycleway for nature lovers and perverts, have been destroyed. It's a badly thought out scheme in many other ways - for example the route runs through the proposed Protestant Village known as Edinburgh's Garden District designed by Rangers FC owner Sir David Murray but there is apparently to be no station which would enable residents to get to Ibrox or Tynecastle more easily. Little things like that have been ignored in the planning of this linear white elephant.

Wee Fat Alex Salmond seems to be playing with his electric train set instead of pump priming the economy by supporting more retail developments - this is disgraceful at a time of national crisis and clearly, this £300M could have been better spent.


Grendel said...

Nice to see the old photo of the cyclepath. I was the Sustrans ranger, and it was me who painted the mileposts yellow in this area. What happened to them, and the other cyclepath art, I have no idea.

Dave Thompson said...

Thanks Grendel - that must have been a very trying job.

Yours in planning

Dave T