Tag Archives: travel

Discount railcards extended for people aged up to 30

Photo Above: Philip Hammond © UK Department for Internation Development on Flickr

Next month, the government will trial a 26-30 railcard, labelled the ‘millennial’ railcard, but only 10,000 will be on the list.

A catch in the new system means that millions of millennials are going to lose out because of a catch in the system, with no cards set to be trialled in Edinburgh, or Scotland as a whole.

Continue reading Discount railcards extended for people aged up to 30

Fears of academic freedom being affected by new counter terrorism bill

Theresa May’s proposed counter terrorism bill has come under fire from activist groups and teachers unions.

Home Secretary Theresa May’s speech where she proposed a new bill to fight terrorism within the UK has been criticised by the Open Rights Group and the Human Rights watch.

One of the proposed measures for the bill is a new statutory duty on colleges, schools, prisons, probation providers, police and councils to prevent individuals being drawn into terrorism. Ministers will have powers to issue directions to organisations that repeatedly invite extremist speakers or fail in the duty in other ways.

Mary Senior, Official for the Scotland University and Colleges Union (UCU), said:

“Universities and colleges have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their students and staff and not to allow activities which are intended to foment hatred or violence, or to recruit support for unlawful activities such as terrorism.

“At the same time, universities and colleges rightly cherish, and must continue to promote, academic freedom as a key tenet of a civilised society.  It is essential to our democracy that all views are open to debate and challenge within the law.”

Tom Lawrence, from the Home Office Press office said:

“The purpose of our Prevent programme is stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It deals with all kinds of terrorist threats to the UK.

“Prevent activity in local areas relies on the co-operation of many organisations to be effective. Currently, such co-operation is not consistent across the country.

“The new duty will require specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This will include local government, the police, prisons, providers of probation services, schools, colleges, universities and others.

“Universities’ commitment to freedom of speech and the rationality underpinning the advancement of knowledge means that they represent one of our most important safeguards against extremist views and ideologies.

“However, extremist preachers have used higher education institutions as a platform for spreading their messages. Universities must take seriously their responsibility to deny extremist speakers a platform.

“This duty is not about the government restricting freedom of speech — which the government is committed to – it is about universities taking account of the interests and well-being of all their students, staff and the wider community.”

The bill, which will be published tomorrow, will also give police the power to seize passports and travel documents for up to 30 days, from people thought to be leaving UK to engage in terrorism-related activities, and force internet services providers to release Internet Protocol addressees to the police in order to target individuals.

No stop in Glasgow for East Coast Mainline?

By Nikki Hunter

National Express East Coast service
Courtesy of freefoto.com

Train services on the East Coast Mainline could no longer arrive in Glasgow and instead terminate at Edinburgh Waverley station according to new plans lais out by national express.

This change will not take place until the December 2010 timetable is discussed and produced. It is currently under discussion now.

At the present moment the service leaves from Kings Cross, travels up the east coast of England, up to Edinburgh then though to Glasgow, however this could stop being the case. Direct services from Glasgow to London Euston will continue, however this does not help some people. One traveller said: “If the new timetable changes go ahead, I hope alternative train routes from England to Glasgow will be sorted as this train is a part of peoples everyday working life.”

There will be a significant amount of people affected by this change and many will have to find alternative routes. A lot of travellers are just looking for reassurance at the moment. The East Coast Mainline is transferring to a Government controlled  company ‘East Coast’ before midnight on the 13th of November.

If the new timetable changes are brought in this will not be linked to the nationalisation of the East Coast Mainline.

A Return For Our Heroes.


Courtesy of Poppy Travel.

By Nikki Hunter

The National Lottery has recently announced they will be funding the Big Heroes Return 2.

This allows veterans, their spouses and carers to return to the place that the veterans last saw active service. Substantial amounts of money will be made available towards the cost of travel and accomodation for the veterans. The grants from the national lottery total up to £50,925. The original Heroes Return was back in 2004/2005 and this was a big success and all the veterans who travelled came back very humbled by their experience.

The Big Heroes return 2 will involves a group of  twenty-six WW2 veterans travelling from Scotland with the largest number of servicemen coming from the highlands, eighteen men, twelve wives and fourteen carers. The second largest group coming from Dumfries and Galloway, three veterans, two spouses and two carers. This for many of them will be the first time they have returned since they left over 60 years ago.  The group will also include the thirty-eight widows, wives and carers. Carers show the frailty that some of these veterans are in.

Veterans are able to revisit such places as Germany and Italy through an organisation called Poppy Travel. This is a specialist travel arm of the British Legion and has been arrnaging visits to battlefields, war cemetries and memorials since 1927.

Lloyd Owen from the Royal British Legion said: “Poppy Travel sent a large number of veterans on Heroes Return in 2005 and has already sent numerous this year. We were an integral part of setting up and working with both grant schemes (The Big Lottery Grant and the MOD Grant scheme) and RBL is doing the eligibility verification.”

The grants are issued after the veteran applies through the national lottery; the application will then be processed and they will receive a reference number, the veteran  will then book onto a tour through Poppy Travel and the grant is paid into their account.

The one thing that I would like to make clear is that we as an organisation never actually receive monies. They go straight to the veteran, who then pays it to the Legion for the expenses incurred. Overall it is deemed to be a huge success, and an integral part of the services that the Legion can offer the veteran“.

Tram Works Uncover Airport Bomb

By Andrew Stewart

An unexploded ordnance device was uncovered yesterday on Burnside road which is in the vicinity of the main terminal of Edinburgh International airport by tram line workers yesterday.

A spokesman for the airport said yesterday, “At 10am a suspected unexploded ordnance device was discovered near the main terminal of Edinburgh Airport”. The spokesman continued, “This followed ongoing excavation works that are taking place as part of the Edinburgh tram work”.

The British Airport Authority (BAA) said that despite the bomb scare the airport worked as normal throughout.

The main Terminal at Edinburgh Airport
The main Terminal at Edinburgh Airport

Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE), the company in charge of building the new tram lines throughout Scotland’s capital insist that the incident has caused no delay to the work on the lines.

Customer services director, Mandy Haeburn-Little said of the incident, “Bomb disposal experts were immediately called to the scene and have now removed the object. The airport operated normally throughout and no flights were affected.”

“as soon as it was discovered , the relevant authorities were notified and appropriate action taken to ensure the safety of anyone in the vicinity”

Before being under control by the ministry of aviation from 1960 onwards, Edinburgh airport was owned by the Ministry of Defense and used as a military airport being the most northerly defense base during the Great War. It is though that this is where the shell originated but as of late last night it is still unsure.

Lothian and Borders police later announced that an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team had safely removed the device and conducted a controlled explosion.