Glenrothes is Fife’s regional centre and I live close by. It is a new town, meaning that it came into being after WWII. It was originally designed to take about 32,000 people and house the miners expected to take jobs at the Rothes new coal mine that was closed four years after being opened due to flooding and geological problems. There are now nearly 40,000 people in the area.
It is Fife’s civic and administrative centre and the seat of Fife local government operations including the Fife Constabulary and Fife’s Fire and Health Services.
Anyway, I want to look at public transport because I would like to think that eventually we will wake up and be less dependent on our own private four wheels and learn to love the bus and train.
The train system (sob, like Australia) is in the process of being ‘rationalised’. That means the smaller villages are being marginalised and train services curtailed. Now Thornton – originally a possible for the seat of Glenrothes – is a railway stop called Thornton with Glenrothes.
It takes me about 7 minutes to drive my little car from my home to the bus station and park for a full day at minimal cost. I usually go to Edinburgh on Saturdays (for the WIBS vigil). The bus leaves for Edinburgh on its way to St Andrews on the half hour every hour and takes an hour to get to Edinburgh.
Coming, as I do, from Australia, I am delighted with the frequency and timeliness of the buses here. I know when to expect my bus, can organise myself to get to the station on time, stand in a queue (sigh, horrific during August because of the Edinburgh International Festivals) and sit in the most comfortable seat, open my book or kindle and settle down to read while being transported to Edinburgh.
Halfway along the journey, the bus calls into Ferry Toll. This is a park-and-ride stop where some 300 buses daily deliver passengers to and from their parked cars. There is a facility for parking–free of charge-for 1050 cars, in the open and within a 4 storey car park. It is often full (again especially during August). It has run out of room – and is only 10 years old. Crikey there ARE a lot of us!!
Ferry Toll needs more (hey, there will always be more of us!) space and other locations are in the pipeline for consideration, but, in any case, the idea is great and worthwhile being adopted as park-and-rides all around every currently congested city in the world. Keep private transport out of the cities is my motto.
Back to the Glenrothes Bus Station. At the moment, all the surrounding public gardens and planting are just plain eye candy. It is summer and the colours are magnificent with brilliant begonias everywhere. It is something Australia hasn’t the resources to emulate. Mind you, as the water wars get closer, maybe the maintenance of these public gardens will become more difficult. Hard to believe in Scotland though; there is a lot of water. Glenrothes has an impressive national record in public space and garden development and maintenance. It shows.
Each year the vibrant colour of the annual flowers and perennial bushes on the traffic roundabouts and surrounding approaches during the seasons is a delight. I hope I never take any of this for granted. So here are my photographs of the colourful, visual beauty of Glenrothes and its bus station.
I took some photographs that I feel aren’t as terrific as the professionals, but hey! They are mine!!
How to make a population feel good about going from somewhere to somewhere else – give them a visual treat.