Monday, December 04, 2006

Trains in Scotland

The National Transport Strategy, to be published tomorrow, will map the direction of Scotland's transport system for the next 20 years.

Click here to read a report from The Scotsman discussing all the relevant points. Click here, also, to look at Labour's transport policy (agian, a The Scotsman article).

It looks as though the UK Government and the Scottish Executive are in cohoots to implement a road pricing policy set by usage. They hint they'll soften the blow by reducing or abandoning tax on fuel. "Revenue from vehicles will be unchanged," is the current mantra.

So how are the wild projects North of the border going to be paid for, dear reader? Do you know? I don't think anyone else does. There's a rail link to Glasgow Airport, a rail link to Edinburgh Airport*, a high(ish) speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow and a high speed rail link/connection to England/London. Oh, and then there are the new tram lines to be paid for here in Edinburgh and new crossings across the Forth.

Click here to look at a wee site dedicated to the Forth bridges and their appearance in the news. Prices are mentioned for the cost of a combined road/tram/train bridge. Click here to read about the possible demolition of the Forth Bridge.

Where is all this money coming from? Is Jack McConnell going to wave his magic wand, and, in Tom's words, pull wads of cash out of his anus?

You know, dear reader, call me a cynic, but with all these big shiny promises bouncing about, anyone would think there was an election on the cards.

Oh, gosh, if a high speed rail network was introduced in the UK, no-one would do the daft things they do now like taking an aeroplane from Edinburgh to Manchester when going by train would be much faster. Such a move would do wonders for our carbon emissions target.

In my Mother's own words, dear reader, "Well, blow me."

If you're wondering what the photograph of the pizza has to do with any of this, dear reader, the answer is, nothing. We had one each for our meal last night, following Heston Blumenthal's recipe to the letter. If you want it, dear reader, buy his book. You'll be glad you did. I'm getting it for Christmas. So how did we follow his recipe without the book? We saw him make the pizza on his TV show. I've got a photographic memory when it comes to delicious food. My huge, wobbling gut is the proof.

Click here to watch Heston cook his pizza on YouTube.

*There already is one. All they'd need to do is build a station. But oh, no. They want a new line, a tunnel and everything. Silly. The five hundred million pounds they're prepared to spend could easily be trimmed to a considerably smaller sum. Just think, dear reader, what could be done with the money saved.


gab said...

can u cook me one!?

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