:— Planes, trains

and automobiles

Never mind the battle to be 1999 City of Architecture and Design, Glasgow and Edinburgh are locking horns in the transport stakes. With growing rates of car ownership and air pollution in both cities, each is the subject of radical transportation plans.

Lothian Regional Council recently launched a glossy £100 million blueprint for cleaner. safer travel in and around Edinburgh. On the cards: the pedestrianisation of Princes Street and George Street. a £20 million scheme for a 1,200-space short stay car park beneath George Street. park and ride schemes and a system of greenways bus-only routes.

Undaunted. StrathClyde region is promoting its own £213 million package aimed at easing traffic

problems in the area. The jewel in its crown is a £150 million city tramcar

, system. something Lothian has had to

relegate to its dream file for now. If the 1 plans gain Parliamentary permission, I StrathClyde tram all 24km of it

Edinburgh's George Street, as it would look with traffic calmers

could be running from Maryhill in north-west Glasgow to Easterhouse in the east. by the year 2000.

The man behind the wheel is Councillor Charles Gordon, chairman of the region's roads and transportation

committee. He has his work cut out: in the last decade. car ownership in StrathClyde has increased by 35 per cent and child casualty rates on the region‘s roads are 50 per cent above the national average. All this and the council is still ploughing ahead with the controversial M77. to run from Ayr to Glasgow through the city's south side. Gordon insists the motorway is in tune with the regional council‘s vow to relieve city centre congestion.

‘ln Glasgow the Ayr road route is needed for environmental reasons,‘ he says. ‘It will take most ofthe traffic which currently forces its way through roads in the south side. It will free up the south side for public transport —— 71 per cent of surface roads there will have less traffic. You can then have bus priority lanes on these roads.‘

Within the next five years, the council also hopes to create a £38 million cross rail system. joining existing north and south suburban rail routes; and a heavy rail link to Glasgow Airport. costing £34 million. A £25 million city centre action plan should reduce traffic in the area by 30 per cent, says Gordon. (Kathleen Morgan)

_ Switching channels

Every year Edinburgh plays host to a love-in for the controllers of British television and every year the public is not invited to witness the discussions which shape the country’s dominant form of communication.

This year was no different, but a couple of months after the suits have returned to London comes Channel for Change, a wilfully altematlve conference aimed at those interested in grassroots television and video. This international event is intended to bring together independents working

' outside, or on the fringes, of mainstream telly to compare notes

5 about how they are managing to get

5 their voices heard.

For instance Cynthia lopez arrives from the United States to talk about

Deep Dish, a collective of community

video makers who band together to

buy satellite time so their programmes

can be beamed across America. During

the Gulf War, videomakers sought

, local responses to the conflict and the

' results were out together to give a

different perspective to the dominant

view offered by the networks.

In Chile, where all broadcast media is heavily state regulated, video exchanges have been set up to allow the work of alternative programme makers to be seen, while in countries like Argentina, television pirates are

illegally high-jacking the airwaves to transmit directly into people’s living rooms.

Channels for Change is aimed at anyone interested in hearing different voices and perspectives than those found on the increasingly centralised BBC and ITV networks. ‘Sometimes local is great for local but sometimes local deserves a wider voice,’ says Channel for Change director Barbara Orton. ‘There is not much power in the regions to influence the national networks.’

A morning session has been devoted to Channel 5, a proposed new channel which looks likely to be the best chance of securing local television in Scotland. Four of Britain’s ‘second cities’, including Edinburgh which is dominated by Glasgow-based

television output, have been earmarked to receive a new channel, and there is a strong lobby to ensure locally-made programmes would underpin the schedules. Cable has this potential but has become little more than an alternative way of receiving British and European mass market satellite channels.

‘The opportunities are there to promote local connections in a more sophisticated way,’ says David Bushton, director of the Institute of Local Television which has lobbied for Channel 5 to become a local network. (Eddie Gibb)

Channel for Change is on Mon 17—Thurs 20 October. Details on 031 558 3136. An all-day screening of work by delegates is being held at the Filmhouse on Thurs 20.

:— .In the can

It emerged from the streets of 1970s New York in all its bold, multi- coloured defiance to change the face of graffiti forever. Since then. aerosol art has become the stuff of festivals and gallery exhibitions across Europe. In Scotland, it has shrugged offthe tag of vandalism, earning itself local authority backing and a wad of respect from the art world.

This month sees Scotland‘s third international festival of aerosol art explode onto the walls of a Livingston community centre. Sponsored by West Lothian district council and organised by a dedicated posse of aerosol artists, Under Pressure will unite spray paint whizz kids from all over Europe in a celebration of the art.

A day-long public demonstration of spray paint wizardry is planned for Friday 14, and on Saturday 15, Scottish rap acts and European break dancers involved in the aerosol art scene will unleash their energies. On the agenda are Edinburgh rappers Under The Influence and Glasgow’s Tones Of Twice, plus regular Rezerection

dancers the Glasgow City Breakers. Veteran aerosol artist Brian Mullen is the brains behind Under Pressure. His motivation is simple: ‘lt’s just to show the range of talent involved in the art form. A lot of people don‘t get to see the stuff that’s being done.‘ He is doing his best to rectify that on ground level by taking aerosol an community workshops in Livingston.

Helping organise Under Pressure is Edinburgh artist Chris Young, who began spray painting when he was

fifteen and regards it as an exceptional an form. ‘Some people 1 know have picked graffiti up and have never been artistic themselves,’ he says. ‘Through using spray paint and becoming involved in a big project, you learn.‘ He adds: ‘You can’t get that look using paint of any other form. Spray painting is unique.’ (Kathleen Morgan)

Under Pressure is a! Craigshill Community Centre, Willow Grove. Livingston, West Lothian on Fri 14 Oct. 10am—8pm and Sat 15 Oct. noon—7pm.


I WHEELS OF STEEL More than 50 wheelchair athletes are involved in a month-long nationwide fund raising rally to promote sport for the disabled and encourage the public to recycle steel cans. Between them, the athletes will cover 800 miles in twenty days, finishing in Glasgow and Edinburgh on 31 October. The aim: to raise money for the British Wheelchair Sports Foundation and remind the public that recycled steel can be used to make wheelchairs. For information on save- a-can banks or to make a donation, call the Steel Recycling Information Bureau on 071 379 1360.

I SPEED KILLS 1n the attempt to reclaim our streets from speeding vehicles, Friends of the Earth has organised a Slow Down Scotland campaign, to be launched with a day of action on 31 October. Calling for substantial traffic calming measures, the pressure group is urging the public to parade ‘slow down’ signs beside dangerous roads on the day of action. For a free campaign pack, contact Friends ofthe Earth Scotland, Dept SDS, 72 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 5QG, or telephone 031 554 9977.

4 The List 7—20 October 1994