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Everything posted by CrashBox

  1. Oh... And Shetland's roads are the best in the UK. Harris & Lewis come a close second. Orkney isn't bad. Everywhere else lags far behind. I've only ever seen one pothole in Shetland and it was being fixed at the time.
  2. I will add that half covered windows and covered bonnet and roof is actually illegal. A vehicle should be completely cleared of any snow covering the body and snow and ice on all windows.
  3. CrashBox


    Don't forget that for all the talk of "Our Special Relationship" with the US, we've had our backs to the wall twice in the past hundred years or so, and on both occasions, they failed us until they were forced to join in. It was only after the sinking by a U-Boat of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland that America joined. Even then, with hundreds of US citizens onboard being drowned, Washington dragged its feet. It was only when the British Ambassador showed an intercepted message from Germany to Mexico promising assistance for an invasion of US territory, that Washington entered the First World War on the Allies side. Was a bit of a miscalculation by the Germans. They were so convinced America was going to declare war after the sinking that they felt they had to keep the US out of the European war by creating a war on its own border. The US then kept out of WW2 until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbo(u)r. As for the Falkland Islands.....The less said, the better. History has proven we can not rely on 'Uncle Sam'.
  4. I'm a newbie to Shetland, having been here since 2013, but I've learned that many Shetlanders from outside Lerwick/Scalloway seem to believe there is a Lerwick-centric culture within SIC, which if true is very worrying and sad. If the councilors are seriously following that course, then what's to say the Scottish government won't, at some point in the future, turn around and make the same decision about Shetland as a whole? And not just Shetland, but the Western Isles too. And many other remote communities on mainland Scotland. Where could it end? Everyone living in the central belt?* The decision makers at SIC should not only cherish the outer-islands but do everything they can to promote social cohesion within those communities, which includes an improved physical connection (ferries/bridges/tunnels), whichever is the best option for each island, but also improved digital connection via fibre-optic broadband. By future-proofing the outer-isles and remote areas of Mainland, we future-proof Shetland as a whole. I can't understand why successive local administrations couldn't grasp this very obvious issue and deal with it, especially when they have recently been offered assistance by a (Norwegian?) company to provide the finance and build of tunnels. I'm sure fixed links would see an increase in traffic and make the islands' economy stronger. *That's a bit of a piss take, but hopefully you'll get my drift.
  5. Perhaps SIC should look at what the Faroe Islands have done over the past 50 years and continue to do so. Even as I sit here typing this, the Faroe Islands are busy building yet another new tunnel, which will have three mouths and an undersea roundabout. Once the boring machine has completed its job, which should be sometime next year, it'll be relocated to another part of the islands to bore yet another new tunnel. Both will be over six and a half miles long. They're even considering building a massively long 26km/16-mile tunnel to link the island of Suðuroy to the main island. Seems to have worked for them over the years, and it must be working as they continue to build. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tunnels_of_the_Faroe_Islands
  6. Looks like I'll have to find space in my garage for these bins, even though there are already two cars sat in it. That's the only way I can ensure the bins don't end up in Norway. What's wrong with a black bag and the bin store? And before anyone asks, the bin store is not designed to accommodate a wheelie bin, let alone two.
  7. Just found this thread after reading today's news regarding fares on Northlink Ferries. This sounds really interesting and given that the chap behind Pentland Ferries is having a brand new vessel built to go into service next year, and the company will be given a subsidy, then great. I'm all for it.
  8. So it'll probably mean using more black bin bags to separate all the different stuff. Hardly environmental, but definitely mental. I live alone and 'struggle' to fill a black bag on a weekly basis, but having lived with fortnightly collections down south, I wouldn't want to go back to that nonsense.
  9. I'll take that as a no, then. Was definitely a WTF??!! moment.
  10. Has anyone had anything weird happen on the road from Mid Yell to Aywick? Got some friends visiting this week and we were over on Yell and as I was driving south on that road a car was seen approaching us from the direction of Aywick. The road dropped a bit so we lost sight of the car. I realised I needed to get to the next passing place at the top of the small rise, but when I got there the car was nowhere in sight. No side roads anywhere near that it could have gone down, and given the lay of the land I could see for a good distance. This happened around half two this afternoon.
  11. When did the plan shift from everything VE produced being sent directly south, leaving us dragging it back via a second line and paying national rates for everything we used? As for profits to spend, as anyone with a basic grip of mathematics can see, actual profits are still years away even after all of VE is completed and commissioned, and then heavily relies on subsidies to turn them in. Counting chickens and all that.... especially as nobody has signed a cheque for any cable yet, which is make or break in more ways than one. Although given the current state of what's left of the SCT, there's a high probability they'd be big enough numpties to be wildly enthusiastic to be the first to jump up waving that cheque. That's the trouble with Shetland oil, is it not? Gets sent south for refining, then returned to Shetland at a big increase in cost to us. Anyway, it's late and I'm in work in the morning. I'll try and find a YouTube video about renewables in Orkney (actually, I think I posted it over on the EV thread) where turbines have paid for themselves within the first year. I will say that I had no real interest in so called green energy this time last year. But I saw something pop up on YouTube from watching a video on Tesla's autopilot system and I've been following the subject quite closely ever since. I certainly wouldn't have considered an EV 12 months ago.
  12. I thought part of the discussion was about the feasibility of Shetland taking control of its finances, like Man and the Channel Islands, so I wasn't saying we had control in the past or have control today. I was just putting across another option for a self-governing Shetland to make money in the long run. It would obviously require funding for investment, but that's always the case. You have to spend money to make money. As regards to your point about cheap electricity, it's down to how the infrastructure is paid for upfront. If the 'government' of an independent Shetland used tax payers money to invest in the project, then I see it as we, the tax payers, are share holders, so we should benefit from the profits by having our bills subsidised. I'm not saying any of this is remotely possible because it's highly unlikely Shetland's governance will change anytime soon. But what I'm trying to get across is that it's doable. Hell, Man, Jersey and Guernsey have been managing well enough, so why not Shetland? Edit:- Just reread the first bit of your post and realised you were taking the micky out of SIC rather than my previous post. I think.
  13. I've mentioned on another thread that Orkney produces its entire energy needs through renewables, and actually over-produces by around 20%, which it exports to mainland UK via the National Grid. There's talk of connecting Shetland to the NG so the rest of the UK benefits from the wind turbines we'll be having installed in a few years time. If Shetland had control of its own finances, which also includes revenue from the wind farms, I can't see the islands being poor at all. We could also all benefit from cheap electricity if it was done in the right way. On those rare Shetland days where the wind doesn't blow, we can also install batteries which can be charged during low consumption periods of days with wind, to provide power 24/7.
  14. As an 'outsider' who has lived in Shetland for the past four years, and visited a number of times on holiday before moving here, I think Lerwick is a great place to visit. It's not perfect, but nowhere is.
  15. I'm in my mid-40s and been driving since the late 1980s. I'm a petrolhead with 3 cars but I'm not blind to the future. Norway is gearing up to ban ICE cars by 2025. So if they can do it sooner, they will. France announced yesterday it plans to ban all ICE cars by 2040, which seems an awfully long way off in the future, but is only a little over 22 years away, and again if they can roll it out quicker, they will. Other countries are also considering it, including the UK. It only needs the infrastructure to be put in place, and that is ever expanding as we sit here looking at our computer screens. Most cars will be charged at home overnight, or at people's place of work anyway. It's a two-prong approach really. Not just EVs, but renewable energy. I've said it in a previous post, Shetland can be self-sufficient with its energy needs purely from renewables. Orkney is, so why not us? We don't need to be connected to the national grid. Anyway, watch this video from 2 days ago, the chap is heavily involved with the motor industry and talks about what is coming down the road, so to speak.......... Here's another short informative video, again from 2 days ago.....
  16. I have done my research, thanks very much. I'm not here to argue.
  17. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced on Sunday that the Model 3 will enter production on Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule. He said they expect to build around 100 cars in August, 1500 cars in September, and by December the factory will be producing 20,000 cars a month. This is going to be the game changer. Prices in the US are expected to start at $35k, the Model S starting price is well over $60k. Expected range will be 215 miles for the smaller battery pack, in the real world, which is more than adequate I think. Porsche has also announced in the last few weeks that it expects half of its production to be hybrid or pure electric within the next 6 years. Nissan is launching an all-new Leaf later this year, which is expected to have a big hike in its battery range to take on Tesla's Model 3.
  18. Many down south have closed and the counters have been relocated into the local WH Smith. They could always move the Lerwick branch across the road to the book shop.
  19. There was a section of the A40 (westbound), at Ross-on-Wye, that had what could be called a reversed speed hump. In essence, it was a ten-foot long pot-hole that extended across both lanes and had a depth of several inches. I knew it was there, but drivers unfamiliar with the road clearly had no idea it was approaching. It's a 70mph road and most vehicles were easily hitting that speed if not more. Surprised I never saw any accidents. Probably the worse section of tarmac on a major trunk road in the UK. They have now replaced the entire surface along that stretch. The humps, along with the 20mph limit, shouldn't really pose too much of an issue, but folk can always use other routes if they fear for the underside of their car. Having walked along the road the humps aren't anywhere near as severe as others I've had to negotiate. They're fairly low and the angles aren't excessive. Those pedestrian crossings look a bit unorthodox though. Don't understand the idea behind those.
  20. Yeah, I'm fairly confident. A majority is anything greater than 50%, so I can see EVs taking more than half the sales volume in 10 years from now. When you look back at the market share of petrol and diesel cars back in the 1980s. petrol far outnumbered the sales of diesel, but within 10 years the figures had drastically changed. Due to poorly thought out incentives through taxing, the market for diesel engined cars took off. We now all know about the issues with diesel thanks to the 'Dieselgate' scandal and that form of ICE is heading towards near extinction, if not fully gone, with petrol engines going the same way some time after. The number of EVs on UK roads at the end of 2013 was somewhere around 3000 units. It's now in excess of 100k vehicles and climbing. The infrastructure is rapidly improving all the time. Every UK motorway service station now has a number of chargers installed. You can plug-in and recharge within around half an hour. Not as quick as stopping at the filling station and putting fuel in the car, but you don't have to take an EV to the petrol station section of the services, and you don't need to stand by the car holding the pump nozzle while you refuel. The Chargers are in the main carpark, and by the time you grab a coffee, have a stretch, and use the facilities, the car is ready to continue your journey. Next generation of cars and chargers will be inductive, so the car will recharge wirelessly through a plate buried in the parking bay. It'll all be very simple and easy.
  21. Early days, and there are improvements all the time. The technology in use today is very much in its infancy. In the next 10 years the majority of new cars sold will be pure electric, and they will have a range of 300+ miles. Don't dismiss it yet. Orkney produces well over 100% of its power needs from renewables, mainly wind, and the council are actively encouraging the residents to swap to EVs. Can't understand why that isn't the case here in Shetland. We have no need to be connected to the national grid for 'our benefit'.
  22. I kind of held similar beliefs but over the past 7 or 8 months I've been looking into the pros and cons and I've certainly had my eyes opened. Battery technology will be changing over the next few years. The current Li-Ion battery has its weaknesses, one of which is environmental cost during mining, but once the material has been extracted the benefits start. 1.Once mined and refined it'll always be above ground and can be reused over and over again. Fossil fuels a once only use. 2.The lifetime of these batteries will far outlast the car they will be used in. There are at least 3 EV taxis in use in NY City that have well in excess of 500k miles on their clocks. Each one has their original batteries, and they still hold over 70% of their original capacity. 3.Once the batteries have been removed from a vehicle at the end of its life, they can be reused in what is called 'second life' as power storage for homes/offices/factories. If you listen (as I once did) to the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, then petrol will be the only choice forever, which is clearly ridiculous. There is currently research going on into developing clean batteries which will greatly reduce the environmental concerns and they are hopeful of improving charging speed, capacity and lifespan. The only thing I can do is point you in the direction of Robert Llewellyn's (he of Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge fame) Youtube channel, FullyCharged, which is very informative. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzz4CoEgSgWNs9ZAvRMhW2A
  23. Can't see what all the fuss is about. Go to 99.9% of towns and cities anywhere else in the world, and Lerwick will appear to be a motorist's heaven. Very little traffic and easy on-street parking with no restrictions. The speed bumps and 20mph limit is along a very limited section of road. I love the fact that right throughout the islands the road surface is as near to perfection as is possible to attain. I have said to family and friends down south that I have two games I play when driving along a road. On mainland UK it's 'Dodge the pot-hole' which is incredibly difficult. Up here in Shetland, I play the game 'Spot the pot-hole', which is even more difficult. Shetland's roads really ARE that good. And family and friends that have visited me over the past 4 years have said as much. Shetlanders, be proud of what you have here.
  24. Have seen 2 Tesla Model S' in Lerwick, and a couple of Nissan Leafs. EVs are the way forward, especially now that the VED has changed. Every brand new ICE car since April costs at least £140pa unless it's a pure EV, which is zero rated. Even PHEVs have a VED cost.
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