The Highlands named as top world destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet

The Highlands and Islands have been selected as one of the top places in the world by Lonely Planet.

The beautiful landscape helped place the region in the top 10 of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2019.

The guide named the Highlands “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe”. The “innovative and fast-developing” accommodation across the Highlands is another reason for the area’s high ranking.

Lonely Planet’s guide recommends looking out for a number of animals native to the area including red deer, golden eagles, otters and whales.

The Highlands have long been a popular destination. They are home to Britain’s largest National Park, Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, and a stunning coastline.

We found out where else in Scotland visitors should be sure to check out, by asking the public the most beautiful places they have been.

 

 

Bike storage costs rocket in the Capital

Bike storage photo

Bike storage shelters in Edinburgh.

The price for bike storage is now higher than car parking permits in certain areas of Edinburgh.

New bike storage units have been introduced throughout Edinburgh, meaning it now costs more to park a bike than it does a car in some parts of the city.

Edinburgh city council will build a total of 128 units throughout the city over the next two years, costing the average biker £84 a year to lease.

The subject was first brought to attention in November 2016 when the council proceeded with plans to introduce 20 to 30 storage units to the city over the next 3 years.

The pilot schemes proved to be successful over the years with each unit at maximum capacity with waiting lists for future spaces.

However, many have expressed anger towards the situation, claiming that the high prices will only discourage people from riding bikes.

Spokes is one of Edinburgh’s largest cycling groups. Spokesperson Ian Maxwell has highlighted certain problems with this scheme but insists prices should not be compared with car parking permits.

He said, “The price is a bit high. What you can’t do is compare it directly to an on-street parking space because you are actually having a structure built and maintained, so there is an additional cost for that which has to be paid for by somebody”

“That said, there should be a scheme to provide lower rates for people who are unemployed or simply can’t afford it. You shouldn’t be deterred from having a bike and parking it safely just because you can’t afford it”

“What we have been concerned with for a long time is the slow roll-out of this scheme and the continued delays in implementing it.”

New additions come after the council received requests for an increased amount of storage in over 200 different streets across the city.

Despite the price not being Ian’s main concern, Chas Booth, Green councillor for Leith, believes the council are not sending out the right message for sustainable and active travel.

He said, “Green councillors have very real concerns about the proposed costs of the cycle storage. Five pounds a month doesn’t sound like a great deal but when you compare it to an outer zone resident parking permit for a car which comes in at £35.50 a year, I don’t think that the price sends the right message”

“I think the council should be saying loud and clear that we support active travel.”

Travel group, Sustrans Scotland, have agreed to donate half of the project cost in order to support the councils aim for a greater amount of sustainable travel in Edinburgh.

Overall, the project is said to cost around £600,000.

 

Edinburgh Airport research care packages for returning residents

edinburgh-airport

Sign at Edinburgh Aiport

Following Twitter and Facebook polls Edinburgh Airport could start giving their passengers essentials like bread and milk to take home with them.

Teams at Edinburgh Airport have come up with an idea to make their customer’s journey home a little easier. Everyday essentials such as bread, eggs and milk could await customers using the Long Stay Express car park. The packages will be tailored for specific times of day, for example breakfast style packs for early morning flights or a dinner style for later ones.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said:

“We’re always looking at ways to improve the passenger experience and this is one of a number of things we are looking at.”

To help gauge reaction from passengers’, polls were sent out on Twitter and Facebook. Teams at the airport will look at responses from members of the public before making any final decisions.

“One of the first stops for returning passengers can be the local shop for those every day essentials such as bread, milk, fruit and even home comforts like short bread or soft drinks- we thought that was something we could possibly arrange for their return and have it waiting in their car for them so they can focus on getting home as soon as possible.”

If the service was to take flight, Edinburgh Airport would be the first airport in the UK to offer it.

Train breakdown caused major east coast line disruption

Passengers travelling on the east coast main line were met with severe disruption today due to a track maintenance train breaking down.

ScotRail suspended all trains between Edinburgh and North Berwick/Dunbar while Virgin Trains, East Coast and CrossCountry services were delayed. Replacement road transport was put in place for ScotRail passengers.

An engineering train broke down overnight in the Dream area of East Lothian causing the disruption, but has since been removed.

Shortly after the fault, ScotRail tweeted an image which stated:

“Unfortunately an engineering train has broken down in the Dream area and we’re unable to run a full service between Edinburgh and North Berwick/Dunbar. Tech staff are on site and working on the train at present, but we don’t have an estimate for when we might get the train moved.”

The broken down train was blocking a track, meaning only one track was available to be used by trains in each direction.

Delays were expected until at least 1:30pm, however this has since been pushed to 2:30pm – around 12 hours since the incident happened.

Network Rail announced that “The broken down engineering train has now moved, allowing all lines to reopen.

Trains between Dunbar/North Berwick and Edinburgh still may be cancelled, revised or delayed by up to 60 minutes.

Disruption is expected to continue until at least 14:30.”

Virgin Trains stated “Due to a points failure between Edinburgh and Berwick, trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.

Train services running through these stations may be delayed up to 15 minutes.

“We apologise to customers who have been caught in the disruption today.

Please ensure you claim Delay Repay”

 

 

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