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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:52 am 
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bloodnock wrote:
Welcome back to the Scottish Stone age 2020.


Bloodnock wrote:
Those barriers are more a environmental statement than a practical solution..indeed they are totally pointless.

Indeed, and I think it's effectively pedestrianisation by stealth, using Covid as a pretence. There's been a strong pedestrianisation lobby in St Andrews for years now, and a few months ago one group proposed closing much of the town centre totally for social distancing purposes, including the street with the rank in it.

And it was reported in the Courier as sounding like official policy, so that had me panicking a bit, because of course the rank wasn't mentioned, and I wouldn't be surprised if the group are totally unaware of the evening rank, or simply didn't think abolishing it was worth mentioning. Reminds me of maybe 15 years ago, when the council published plans to redevelop the bus station rank, which effectively included closing the rank with no replacement, but didn't even mention that in the plans :evil:

The bus station is the main daytime rank here, and the local association back then kicked up a stink, and the council eventually shoehorned a new rank into the redesigned bus station. But from my point of view they made a total mess of it, so I very rarely go there. In fact I could write a whole chapter of my book on the taxi ranks of St Andrews about the bus station rank, but I'll have to wait to see if tonight's Euromillions come up :-s

But you're right about Sustrans etc. More and more of the town here is now 20mph, which is fine for back streets, but what annoys me is all the speedbumps and other stuff that goes with it. And totally unnecessary on many of the roads they've made 20mph in recent years. One local councillor (who I could write a whole book on) was in the papers recently proposing a blanket 20 limit for the whole town, just as all this Spaces for People stuff was turning the central area upside down.

And they've just installed two new light-controlled crossings on roads less than a mile from the centre, on roads that I could easily drive along for half a mile even at 10pm and not spot another car or pedestrian.

Then of course they've turned a blind eye to reckless pedestrians and cyclists, indeed encouraged it in many ways. Once I win the Euromillions I've got dozens of photos and vids that I'll be putting online in one of my multimedia books. But, in the meantime, you don't know whose nose would be put out of joint with that kind of thing, so at the moment it's :-#

Of course, it's not just about traffic and taxis etc.

Just got a leaflet through the door saying every home in Scotland has to have interlinked smoke and heat alarms, costing £200-£300. By February. (Which of course you mentioned recently.)

Which planet are these people on? Even in normal times we should have been given 2-3 years notice minimum, never mind now with many people on their knees financially, and when having strangers tramping round your house to install something like this doesn't seem consistent with social distancing.

Don't think it'll be happening, somehow, and if they don't extend the deadline by a couple of years there'll be a huge amount of houses breaking the law come next year.

Also, just noticed from the earlier photo that there are *four* To Let/Lease Available signs on the the rank side of Bell Street - don't know if a couple are new, but pretty sure they weren't all there pre-Covid. There can't be many more than ten shops/business premises on that side of the street in total.

(Regular readers might have noticed a theme with my Euromillions hopes. Shouldn't really be wasting my dwindling cash reserves on that kind of thing, but if it's any consolation I've stopped playing the standard Lotto and only buy one ticket for the Euromillions draws :-| )


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:50 am 
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Anyway, back to trade stuff - I mean, do drivers really need to take up this much space on the rank when the car behind has to reverse into a space, and it's pishing with rain and you can't see a thing and you're holding up the whole street :evil:

And he's left his headlights on, as can be seen from the photo (the back end of the front car is illuminated). So you're trying to pull out with a fare, and looking out for cyclists barelling up the street without lights, and all you can see in your wing mirror is the rain-splattered glare from headlights [-X

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(The reversing thing isn't just because of Covid and the barriers - it's the norm, because of cars parked illegally on the rank, and because the lack of allocated space means we're basically sharing the rest of the street with the general public ](*,) )


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:03 am 
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The national Herald newspaper has done an article this morning on the 'row' in St Andrews. It's just a rehash of the local stuff, but with a fresh quote from Fife's transport convener:

Quote:
“The autumn volume of pedestrians within the town centre is greatly reduced from previous weeks and that some of the measures, at this time of year, are no longer warranted.

"Therefore, as the footways are wider in Market Street, the measures have been removed for the time being.

So they didn't need the barriers all summer, they installed them on 5 October, announced they were going three days later, and that's because the autumn volume of pedestrians is greatly reduced from previous weeks :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Quote:
"However, should things change, and when the town becomes busier again on the run up to Christmas, we will reconsider this area and the potential to provide further space to help with social distancing.

No mention of the fact that almost 10,000 students disappear from the small town of St Andrews at Christmas, and even in a normal year the tourists more or less disappear completely, having gradually dwindled in numbers since late summer. So the town's pretty dead over Christmas. In fact my pre-Covid record at the rank was one Christmas Eve - 3 hours ](*,)

But as is so often the case, these comments betray that they're made by people elsewhere in Fife who don't really know the town and its unusual demographics etc [-(

It's like someone such as Jimbo in Lincoln deciding things for Stamford. Now that would be fun 8-[


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:39 pm 
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So the barriers still hadn't been moved back when I arrived tonight :?

But several council vehicles arrived at about 7pm to put them back :cry:

So the other rank was chocka with taxis, and I couldn't get on:

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Note the council van sitting between the diagonally parked taxis at the back of the rank:

Image


The vehicle with the flashing orange lights is the one that put the barriers back here at the main Bell Street rank. Note that two members of the public have arrived to park there once the taxis were moved on.

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And there's one taxi sitting towards the back of the replacement rank, and a private car right at the back of the rankspace:

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Round the corner to the left there's another two taxis forming their own rank (that's the students' union on the right):

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But the chap who put the barriers back left the A-board where it was :roll:

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There were three or four council vehicles, out for maybe three hours in total - I suspect they also drove down to Crail and put the barriers back there. I had a pointless discussion with the chap who put the barriers back, which isn't hard to work out.

He said the council are talking about concrete now :cry:

Anyway, because of that and because it's totally dead I've had one fare in nearly four hours - £3.80. If I get another one that'll be it.

Looks like it's either Deliveroo or benefits :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:46 pm 
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Quote:
Looks like it's either Deliveroo or benefits :cry:

Amazon deliveries?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Looks like it's either Deliveroo or benefits :cry:

Amazon deliveries?

Cheer me up, why don't you :cry:

Dunno, though, although I did think about that over lockdown when I had a couple of parcels delivered by people in cars.

Of course, I could be wrong, and don't have a clue about the economics of it all.

But kind of got the impression that with Amazon I'd be careering around all over the place, and never stopping, and putting huge mileages on the car. And I'm not sure where the pick-up point would be. Amazon have a huge depot in Dunfermline (45 mins away) and a smaller place in Dundee (slightly closer), but not sure where the pick-up point would be, or whether they have smaller pick-up points closer to where I live.

There's one driver here who actually lives in Dundee, and he's been delivering food across there rather than coming to St Andrews. Makes sense, obviously, but maybe the fact he's not delivering parcels says something.

There's at least one driver here who was working for Amazon over lockdown, and I haven't seen him back on the ranks, so maybe he's still doing the parcels.

I should have done that during lockdown, and could have still claimed the SEISS grants, instead of sitting on my backside assuming it would all be over by the autumn ](*,)

Deliveroo, on the other hand, wouldn't be that different from what I'm doing now, so wouldn't seem such a leap in the dark.

I mean, one of the taxi drivers here has been literally parking on the rank (in his private car, not his taxi) to jump into the takeaway to pick up the Deliveroo food. And the other main Deliveroo pick-ups in town aren't that far away. Just my usual haunts, really, and the food just going to the places I normally take punters to.

The Deliveroo sign-up process looks quite straightforward too, at least as compared to getting on the road as a taxi driver.

Of course, the reality of these things is rarely what you're expecting, so I might just have to suck it and see. Anyway, will wait a few days and see what happens with the hospitality lockdown. Sturgeon has just extended it by another few days :sad: =;


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:49 pm 
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Time for an update, because I'm sure the whole UK trade is on tenterhooks wanting to know what's going on.

Well there's good news and bad news.

Although most of the barriers across the area have been lifted, last weekend the council put some of the water-filled barriers into the rank street. Redeployed them, I was thinking.

So I thought that meant they were digging their heels in with regard to the rank, while most of the rest of the restrictions have disappeared. The barriers in the street previously could be easily moved, while the water-filled ones are not so easy to shift.

Anyway, the barriers have all now been shifted into little groups, so in effect the street is clear parking-wise, although the barriers are a pain as regards the operation of the street as a taxi rank, obviously. But although that means lots of gaps in the taxi queue and reverse parking to move up the rank, to a degree it's no worse than the normal shambles.

Not sure who's shifted the barriers. I'm assuming it's not the council - why redeploy them only to shift them a few days later, and if the council has shifted them again, why not just take them away rather than leaving them to cause a hazard :?:

Who knows, maybe they've moved them but didn't have the transportation available to take them away, so hopefully they should disappear next week.

The other fly in the ointment is that some taxis are still using the temporary 'rank' area at the other side of the crossroads, as can be seen from the photo below. The one on the left's roofsign is visible, and the white Skoda at the other side of the road is also a taxi, but because private cars have continued to use the area for parking, he's sitting on the other side of the road because there's no space. And there have generally been only one or two cars using the 'rank' there, and they just reverse into the corner rather than going to the official front of the 'rank' - they know that if they go up there they have no chance of a hack, while the best place to be on the 'rank' is right at the back and right on the corner.

Which was bad enough when most of us were using the loading bay area that had been left where the old rank was. Last Saturday night I waited about an hour and a half for nothing, while at least one car got a fare from right on the corner there, and in fact the car right behind me also got a fare when a punter approached the taxis from the back - there were only two of us there, so the punter just got into the back car :evil:

And now there's plenty of space in the rank street, the taxis sitting at the other side of the junction are just queue-jumping in my opinion - why join the back of the queue of taxis proper when you can form your own rank nearby [-X

And they're a lot closer than when most of us were sitting in the loading bay, which is about half way down the street. They're just on the other side of the crossroads, and are a lot closer than they look in the photo below.

And, of course, there's the attraction for them of the extra 60-80p fare that they'll get if they manage to get someone into their car.

Anyway, perhaps all the barriers will disappear by next week, and we can get back to some sort of normality. Which is shambolic enough at the best of times, but slightly better than the last few weeks.

Pity there's almost zero work, though :cry:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:59 pm 
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Would drive me mad.

Absolutely stark raving mad. :sad: :sad: :sad:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:08 pm 
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Photo shows one of the cars reversing into one of the spaces between the barriers. A tighter squeeze than it looks, and of course there's the usual problem of drivers who take up far too much space, only leaving a tiny space to reverse in.

And one that was about to reverse into the back space changed their mind, and drove across the crossroads to jump the queue at the 'front' of the temporary 'rank' :evil:

(I wouldn't sit on the temporary 'rank' myself because I could easily sit there all night and get nothing. So it tends to be office cars sitting there. They might get a fare out of turn by effectively jumping the rank queue, but they know that if they don't they'll get an office job eventually.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:39 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Would drive me mad.

Absolutely stark raving mad. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Tell me about it :evil:

Biggest obstruction currently is here. Barriers and signage hopefully temporary. Parking meter is permanent ](*,)

Image

Took this from a wee bit further back to show the parking meter (The car in front was just moving up, and there was nothing behind me, so wasn't holding the rank up or anything O:) )

Anyway, most drivers straddle the meter in normal times, because of the lack of space on the rank, basically by driving over the concrete that's sticking out and sitting on top of it. Too far out and you're not leaving much space for passing buses and trucks, and you risk ruining a tyre by clipping the sidewall off the kerb bit. Too close to the meter, and the risk is obvious - a few cars have ended up with with a scrape along the side.

Then, of course, some drivers won't straddle the meter, which means they take up more space than they need to, and don't have to worry about damaging their motor. And because they've left a one-car gap, it often means they get a fare out of turn too - punters often won't walk across a gap for some strange reason, even though they would walk to the front if it was an uninterrupted queue of taxis :evil:

Anyway, at least we don't have to worry about manoeuvring round the parking meter at the moment. Every cloud, and all that...

Of course, having just the meter as an obstacle would be better than the mess in the photo above :x


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:54 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Anyway, back to trade stuff - I mean, do drivers really need to take up this much space on the rank when the car behind has to reverse into a space, and it's pishing with rain and you can't see a thing and you're holding up the whole street :evil:

And he's left his headlights on, as can be seen from the photo (the back end of the front car is illuminated). So you're trying to pull out with a fare, and looking out for cyclists barelling up the street without lights, and all you can see in your wing mirror is the rain-splattered glare from headlights [-X

Image

Image

(The reversing thing isn't just because of Covid and the barriers - it's the norm, because of cars parked illegally on the rank, and because the lack of allocated space means we're basically sharing the rest of the street with the general public ](*,) )



we have one who no matter what the weather sits on the rank with his engine permanently running

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Other than the bollards nonsense that is currently inflicting this country the most disappointing thing about all this is the fact that drivers will queue jump and take work out of turn. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Never use to be the case down here with the hackney trade, but now it seems to be every man for themselves. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Classic example is the station rank. Last year the station people moved the rank to the rear of the station and blocked off the front to traffic. The trade moved as they had no choice, but you still see the odd hackney parking up just outside of the station, illegally plying. [-X

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 8:00 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Other than the bollards nonsense that is currently inflicting this country the most disappointing thing about all this is the fact that drivers will queue jump and take work out of turn. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Never use to be the case down here with the hackney trade, but now it seems to be every man for themselves. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Classic example is the station rank. Last year the station people moved the rank to the rear of the station and blocked off the front to traffic. The trade moved as they had no choice, but you still see the odd hackney parking up just outside of the station, illegally plying. [-X


The rubbish who have come into this trade the last few years is unbelievable, not the trade of professional gentleman any longer.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:23 am 
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heathcote wrote:
The rubbish who have come into this trade the last few years is unbelievable, not the trade of professional gentleman any longer.

Sussex wrote:
Other than the bollards nonsense that is currently inflicting this country the most disappointing thing about all this is the fact that drivers will queue jump and take work out of turn. :sad: :sad: :sad:

Always been pretty much the same here since I started in the 1990s. Things have certainly changed since then, but more because of the changes to the ranks and the number of cars and the problems that causes, rather than the attitude of the drivers, which is pretty much the same as it's always been.

Partly it's the council causing the problems, as this latest episode demonstrates. A couple of years ago they proposed splitting the rank in two, effectively, to deal with the ongoing problems. Which is what the bollards thing has effectively done, because their proposal was to have a few spaces where the temporary rank is now, and leave a few spaces back where the rank was already. But I knew that wouldn't work because of the annual Lamas Fair relocation, and thankfully they didn't go ahead with it.

But that's effectively what's happened now, and at least it's vindicated my view that it wouldn't work, but of course as far as officialdom is concerned, that's irrelevant.

Anyway, the council were obviously out early on Saturday, because the barriers had been replaced by the evening ](*,)

But by Sunday night, many of them had been shifted to the side again, presumably by the traders ](*,) ](*,)

So I'm assuming the council will be back soon to rearrange them again. What a joke ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

Anyway, a few more keys on my wee laptop have packed in, so looks like the end of live updates from the rank. Could manage with just the ? and / keys not working, but when it's a few important letters and punctuation marks like the . and , it all becomes a bit too much. And the on-screen keyboard is OK for emergencies, but must take me about ten times as long to input the same thing =;


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:03 am 
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here we have the pubs closed but the street which is filled with tables and chairs is still closed with the tables and chairs in situ

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