How do visitors manage travelling around Scotland?! Despite the very friendly and efficient Traveline Scotland service, where real people with local accents answer your call, the job of going from place to place is really complicated. That’s for me as an indigenous Scot! So what it is like for a visitor speaking English as their second or third language and using a mobile phone?
Frustrating is the first word that comes to mind. Having tried to organise a group of people from Glasgow to Inverkeithing Highland Games recently, I spent, in total, more than two hours on the phone trying to get answers to simple questions: What time do we leave? What time do we arrive? What time can we travel back? What does it cost?
I’m finding the same complication arising for a journey to Mugdock Country Park. this is the place where the West Highland Way starts. But oddly enough, no bus stops anywhere on the perimeter of the Park. The best option is to go to Milngavie by train from Glasgow then register for a local bus service which will slot you in with other bookings, like a taxi company.
At every point, people are helpful and polite. But at every point they come to the end of the information they are able to provide and offer a phone number for the next link in the chain of information. It is costly in phone calls and in time. And I fear to think what confusion this could cause someone speaking hesitate English.
Traveline Scotland is a good service – don’t get me wrong. I use it a lot and it works well. But when the friendly folk at the end of the line need to give more than simple information – bus number X will be at bus stop A at such a time and will arrive at bus stop B at that time – their system can’t cope.
Surely we can offer a more comprehensive, integrated travel information service to make life easier for visitor and local alike?
If you have recent experience of travel information frustration and want to tell air that on this website, please email us on: email@example.com
More than 230 bands will compete in the World Pipe Band Championships on Glasgow Green on Saturday 11 August. The fierce competition to be world champions for bands and individual bagpipe players and drummers, will attract more than 8000 skilled musicians from around the world.
Tickets for the finals at World level, are already sold out. People who buy tickets for the all – day spectacle show, can listen, free, to the competitors in the early, other levels of the ‘Worlds’ as the event is fondly referred to.
Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Bands Association said: ‘The entry this year in the ‘Worlds’ is an indication of just how much the bands enjoy coming to Glasgow to compete.’ The competition has been associated with the city for more than 60 years. He added: ‘The pipers and drummers and all the supporters, enjoy a great day out. This year we have more than ever on offer. There is nothing quite like a day out at The World Pipe Band Championships.’
The event is for all the family with Highland Games, Highland Dancing, children’s activities and a serious competition among six of Scotland’s best known chefs. They will vie with each other in cooking demonstrations at the Flavour of Scotland arena, using some of this country’s finest ingredients.
Picture here are two of the chefs – John Quigley of Red Onion and Colin Manson of Malmaison – who were checking out where they’ll be cooking up a storm on Saturday 11 August. They’re wearing Help for Heroes kilts from Cameron Ross, the world’s biggest kilt hire supplier. The company has pledged £4 to Help for Heroes charity for ex-military service personnel, for every kilt hired from them in the Help for Heroes tartan.
For further information about ticket availability, prices and concessions for the World Pipe Band Championships call 0141 353 8000 or go to www.theworlds.co.uk
Watch out for a whole host of enjoyable festivals and fairs throughout the summer.
On Wednesday 19 May, Gorbals Fair Committee chose their Fair Prince and Princess from the assembled three local schools for the Fair Parade and Show on Saturday 5 June.
The Southside Festival’s big day will be Saturday 22 May in Queen’s Park RECREATION grounds with music in the Glasshouses. Already, Carol Laula and Maeve O’Boyle have signed up. Other events will be run in the lead up to the day.
The first Saturday of every month sees Tollcross Park offering Bards in the Park, a dedicated group of poets and Tollcross writers who believe in Peace and Jam and family picnics in the Park.
From Monday 7 June till Sunday 27 June there will be a rolling programme of events, gigs and happenings to mark the West End’s 15th year of FESTIVAL. The programme is out now and can be picked up free, in most of the places where event will be taking place. Also check the website: www.westendfestival.co.uk
On Saturday 12 June the Friends of the River Kelvin will hold their annual fundraising FORKS in the Park event around their headquarters at Ha’penny Bridge in the Botanic Gardens.
The Mardi Gras styled parade to open the West End Festival will be on Sunday 13 June along Kelvin Way, as last year, ending in Kelvingrove Park.
Sunday 20 June will be the Gibson Street Gala Day and also the 20th year of the Glasgow Mela – sponsored for the first time by O2. That happy event will be in Kelvingrove Park.
Saturday 26 June will see the first West End Festival HIGHLAND GAMES. This will be scheduled for Hughenden playing fields possibly with a fireworks finale.