I suppose it’s one of those jobs, that is in that category of tough ones, that someone has to do.
You can actually see the pandas using this link.
This article is the second most popular on the BBC’s web site.
I just wonder how many of the viewers are from Glasgow!
Surprisingly, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Edinburgh tram.
St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations sit above one of the biggest Underground stations in London; Kings Cross St. Pancras. Over the last few years, the moles have been burrowing deep under and between the stations to make the access between all three stations, accessible for those in wheel-chairs and with heavy cases. It’s not perfect, especially, if you want to make a quick transfer to an Underground line, but it’s a lot better than it was.
Edinburgh Waverley has always been difficult for passengers, unless you arrive and leave in a taxi, as walking up the famous Waverley Steps has not been easy for anybody with a mobility problem. Network Rail are improving the station, by glazing the enormous roof properly with clear glass to get more light into the station and installing lifts to improve disabled access. You’d think the installation of lifts would be welcomed, but I was surprised to read this article in the Edinburgh Guide. Here’s an extract.
Two 16-person lifts now descend to Waverley from the roof of the Princes Mall. Also, as part of the “Waverley Steps Improvement Project” a new covered step and escalator access has been put in between Princes Street and the north entrance to Waverley station.
“The ‘Windy Steps’ have been given a vital upgrade and are now accessible and convenient for all passengers,” said David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, of the “stylish and bright” new entrance.
Personally, I liked it the way things were. Trudging up and down the broad staircase of the well-worn stone slabs of Waverley Steps, there was a sense of walking in the footsteps of millions of travellers before me.
Lifts and escalators leave me cold. The building materials have little of the traditional quality or aesthetic of Edinburgh’s New Town and Old Town architecture. The machinery usually requires large amounts of energy (more CO2 emissions), seeing as they are running all day.
They are, frankly, utilitarian and ugly.
That gives me the impression, that they think things should have been left the way they are.
I travel extensively by train and if you look at Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Sheffield and London Paddington and Waterloo, all have been or are being upgraded to improve the passenger experience.
I suppose the writer would perhaps prefer Edinburgh Waverley to revert to diesel or even steam power for the trains, as they are more in keeping with the history of Edinburgh.
I just read this article in The Scotsman, which I thought was a serious newspaper..
The celebration for the Olympic and Paralympic medallists is going to be in Glasgow, but I would have thought that there was a case for it to be in Edinburgh.
The comments are priceless.
Reading all of the stories last night about Scottish football, it appears to be digging itself a big hole.
Apparently, the Scottish Premier League is set up that all changes need an 11-1 majority, to protect the interests of Celtic and Rangers. The other clubs want this changed to a 9-3 vote. The manifestations of this are well set out in this reasoned article from the Herald.
The article ends with this statement.
The Old Firm, and the rest of the SPL clubs, have a responsibility to do what is right for the game. Where is the consensus? Who is prepared to act radically, instead of just talking about it?
If Scotland wants to have a viable football competition, the powers that be must act decisively, radically and quick. One solution, that I would not countenance at any price is Rangers and Celtic playing in the English leagues. They must keep their sectarianism north of the border.
To make matter worse for Scottish football, the driver of the Motherwell team coach managed to get it stuck under a bridge, as is reported here.
I do also wonder whether the rise of Scottish rugby teams like Edinburgh are turning fans against football and its never ending troubles. Fanslike nothing better than a winner.
There’s an interesting article in Friday’s Guardian, called Donald Trump wind turbine fiasco could be defining for Scotland. The first part is about Donald Trump opposition to several large offshore wind turbines by his new golf course near Aberdeen and how he is going to fund the opponents of wind power in Scotland.
By the way the Birther Movement mentioned in the Guardian article, as part-funded by Trump, are a group of conspiracy theorists, who believe President Obama was not born in Hawaii. So Trump has form, when it comes to funding opposition groups that might help his personal ambitions or business interests. There’s more on the movement here.
There is one statement after Trump and that is this.
But the idea of Trump as good business versus loony-greens hellbent on no-jobs is nonsense. Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently suggested onshore wind will be cost competitive with gas and coal generation by 2016.
I hope Bloomberg is right, as the waters around these island certainly have a lot of wind.
In some ways, the second part of the Guardian article is in some ways the more significant. It talks about how a wind turbine is being built at Portobello in Edinburgh. I wonder what the good burghers of Scotland’s capital think of the project?
Not the person, but the cruise ship. Read about it here.
There is rather a war growing up about attracting cruise ships to the various ports in the United Kingdom. Liverpool is particularly well placed in that cruise ships come in directly in front of the Pierhead with the Three Graces and within a short walking distance of the major shops and museums. London’s cruise terminal is forty kilometres down river. Even Edinburgh, which has a deep water port at Leith, hasn’t got its act together and has even discredited its position with the farce over the trams.
Tourism is going to be one of the things that help to grow the economy. Are the various ports around the country, up to scratch?
I thought it was difficult because of their size for trams to do a U-turn. But apparently not in Edinburgh!
I think it’s a toss-up about which opens first; the Edinburgh Tram or Crossrail in London.
Over the last few years, there have been several local transport prjects in the UK. Most like the London Overground have been completed on time and on budget, with one in London the DLR Extension to Stratford International being a year late.
The former is now up and running and most of the reports are positive. Extra buses are supposedly being ordered to cope with demand. But it will be easier to sort out the problems of the cost overruns for a success than a failure.
But the Edinburgh Tram fiasco continues according to this report on the BBC. So for a large cost overrun, Edinburgh will get what half they originally ordered. When what they are now getting is completed, passengers arriving at the airport will be unable to take the tram to the City Centre to see the similarly half-finished National Monument. But at least the tram will serve the headquarters of the Royal Bank of UK Taxpayers at Gogar!
At least it has given a lot of work for consultants and material for comedians at the Festival.