What great ideas our council has for reinvigorating the local economy. But have you noticed the common theme? Our council thinks Aberdeen lies on the Mediterranean coast!
Idea no.1 - Cable cars from Nigg harbour to the Castlegate.
A fine idea if you live in Switzerland or Spain. But these places have a lovely climate. Aberdeen is a cauld, windy place more days than not. What a great idea, let's spend £50 million quid installing a cable car system that only runs one day a week, because the rest of the time it's too damn windy. Mind you, it could be a great thrill-seeking ride, swaying about from side to side in a box hanging precariously 300 feet above the harbour, praying you're going to make it to the Castlegate , and not come crashing down like the Christmas lights once did in Union Street not so long ago. With a bit of luck you might come down in the sea where you can enjoy a dook in the tropical waters off Nigg. One bright spark wrote in the Press and Journal that the cable cars might even become a super-efficient affordable means of public transport, better than buses or taxis. Yea, because there's such a demand to travel from Nigg harbour to the Catlegate , isn't there? Such a busy thoroughfare.
In all seriousness though, the cable car idea is an interesting one, but one where I hope our councillors will weigh up the undoubtedly high cost of this plan against the realistic prospect of its limited use. Within their track record of burning money on fanciful projects, I'm not holding my breath.
Idea no.2 - Parklets
What are parklets you might ask? Well according to the "P&J", they will be small areas of raised decking placed outside cafes, but not on the pavement of Union Street, but actually on Union Street itself. They will be raised seated areas where tourists can enjoy a cup of coffee in the Aberdeen sunshine.Something they might need to calm their nerves after the cable car ride from Nigg in a howling gale.
And so calming it will be, sitting in the bus lane of Union Street, contemplating your death at the hands of a eastern European bus driver who doesn't want to concede his bus lane rights to a coffee drinker. Maybe the customers will only be allowed to sit in the parklets when the bus lanes aren't in operation? That's going to make them feel so much safer.
Coffee and nitrogen dioxide fumes, hmmmm yummy.
Idea no.3 - Barney's bikes
Free bikes to pick up for hire all over the city centre. Another fair weather idea, the only problem being that in our rainy climate they will be rusted to buggery in a matter of months tied up to a railing somewhere. That's if they haven't all been stolen first.
Of course, it's just exactly what we need on Union Street isn't it? As if there aren't enough obstacles on Union Street already with beggars and their coats, cups, sleeping bags and dogs all threatening to trip you up, you will soon be able to look forward to being mowed down on Union Street by Barney's Bikes. Cos let's face it, nobody cycles on the roads any more. Why become the injured on the roads, when you can instead do the injuring on the pavement?
So do we really need cable cars, parklets and bikes?
What we really need in Aberdeen is free waterproofs and brolleys.