DUNFERMLINE (DE)PRESS - HIGHLIGHTS
Thursday 31 January 2008
Today didn't start too well with the closure of the Forth Road Bridge northbound and only one lane open southbound. The D7 was delayed so much that some passengers got off and walked to the Ferrytoll. I don't know why they bothered because it was total gridlock and no other buses could get there. Eventually an X57 came and the long, and remarkably patient, queue shuffled on. I got chatting to a girl form Standard Life and we had a good laugh about the foibles of public transport use and what winds up us. "People" seemed to be the answer to every problem. I finally got into work at quarter to nine, forty five minutes late, although quite refreshed after my cathartic chat.
By half past ten I was on my way home again! Those of us who reside over the bridge had heard some worrying reports about the bridge and the weather and we decided to take the cautious approach and go back home. We thought we were being sensible but some people seemed to think we were "pulling a fast one". Oh right, so that's why we all took some work home is it? If I wanted to take the piss I wouldn't have bothered coming in at all. I'm not going to apologise for living in Fife and I won't apologise for travelling by public transport. Lord knows I suffer enough without Edinburgh-based car drivers having sly digs. End of rant.
The GLW doesn't read the (De)Press. I read it then give her the edited highlights, which cuts out a lot of the parochial dull crap which dominates its pages. Here are this week's "highlights":
1. MSP Jim Tolson wants Stagecoach to pass on the savings from the soon-to-be-gone tolls to passengers. Doug Fleming of Stagecoach says "We review our operating costs levels across the network on an annual basis which will reflect the removal of the tolls and these findings will apply to our fares revision later in the year". For revision, read rise. With Stagecoach losing out on Fuel Duty Rebate (unlike their English counterparts), they'll be pleading poverty and putting up fares and blaming it on the Government. It's not the passengers fault but it's us who suffer. It's not even as if the service gets better.
2. Schoolchildren montoring the car park at St. Leonard's Primary School, in an attempt to prevent inconsiderate parkers are being verbal abused by the offending drivers. How brave of these selfish twats to have a pop at primary school kids? Maybe they'll think again when the first fatality occurs. Although, they almost certainly won't.
3. A taxi driver who had a metal object thrown through his back window when leaving the "big" Asda has spoken of his concerns, "It was £60 excess on the insurance but it was the boss's car. You are looking at over £200 to get that fixed". Getting his priorities right he goes on to say, " I'm actually going to go to the doctors because I can't get rid of the headaches. I keep getting the flashbacks and I just can't keep this up". Now I don't want to belittle his ordeal but his own health should surely come before any damage to the car.
4. Always one for making a drama out of a crisis, John Aitchison, not my favourite individual, has said that the redevelopment of Dunfermline city centre is causing "mayhem" to the economy of the taxi drivers. "People who are entering the town are brassed off", he whined on. You're right John, but only because the place is a concrete shithole. I had to laugh out loud when he said "We get customers from the West Fife villages who say they are going to Alloa for their shopping and people from the eastern expansion think nothing of going to Edinburgh or Kirkcaldy". Alloa? Fuckin' hell, how bad must shopping in Dunfermline be? I'll tell you - it's chronic. If you want a haircut, a Stephen's steak bridie or a rake for Mantovani LPs in a charity shop, you're laughing, otherwise forget it. With the redevelopment of the city centre Dunfermline will be turning into even more of a Tescoville and any butchers or fishmongers who remain will soon disappear.
John argues that a thriving taxi industry is vital to the city centre becoming a successful shopping and business hub. Wrong again, John, a thriving taxi industry is only good for taxi drivers. Only new shops and businesses will improve Dunfermline. Some of us haven't forgotten your ill-founded comments about the Yellow Taxibus and the threat to lone female passengers. We haven't forgotten either how taxis drivers refused to pick up passengers from James Street who had just got off the Yellow Taxibus. And let's not even go down the road of the behaviour of some of your drivers and family when they get behind the wheel.
5. 3123 pupils were expelled from schools in the Kingdom in 2006/2007, with 478 of those from primary schools. The main reason for most of the expulsions was behaviour classed as violent conduct or verbal aggression. Their parents must be so proud.
6. McDonalds in Dunfermline has won the company's award for Restaurant of the Year in Scotland. What for? The most neds hanging off the window sills on a Saturday afternoon! No wonder there are so many misshapen fat fucks in Dunfermline. All pushing buggies with a fag in one hand, a burger in the other and their bairn with a face full of sausage roll.
7. It seems that the new bus station in the redevelopment of the city centre may not be used to it's full potential because Stagecoach are planning to use James Street for only "some of its services". What a waste of money and another concrete carbunkel (or should be busbunkel) awaits future generations of West Fifers. I was however pleased to see John Park MSP say, "It's important they communicate with the public on these matters and don't repeat the mistakes they did when changing services in the eastern expansion recently." A clear reference to Stagecoach's cessation of the only direct bus from the eastern expansion to Edinburgh (X57), which I campaigned to save.
8. Saving the best for last, the biggest story of the week is that the GLW has won the crossword! A family meal for four to the value of £50 at Frankie and Benny's awaits us!
I need to renew my 12-journey £23 ticket tomorrow. I'll be interested to see what ticket the driver tries to sell me. My money's on the wrong one.
I'm applying for a couple more game shows. A new one called "Stumped" with the ubiquitous Chris Tarrant and I've persuaded the GLW to go for "Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old?" She has a wider knowledge than me and her experience with the Guides would serve her well.