Bus boss seems to be on right road

Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Westminster. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Since I last wrote I have had a meeting with the MD of West Coast Motors, Colin Craig. I liked the cut of his jib.

This is a family business set up by his grandfather and he is the third generation operating the company. It has a track record running Perryman’s and all local buses. Perryman’s and First Bus will have a Borders Buses livery.

All services remain unchanged.

In fact, if a service change were to be made then there is a formal process which requires a 10-week period before any application could be made to the Traffic Regulator.

I am supportive of West Coast Motors, as is Scottish Borders Council. I wish the company well and every success.

On the train

I don’t know if it is just my experience, but I have had very few emails with complaints about stop-skipping or delays.

I have now been using the service regularly since it opened and my experience recently is that it is much improved. It’s on time and is stopping at all appropriate stations.

There is also now the coffee service (and let’s not forget the toilet) at Tweedbank, so, all in all, it’s a huge change for Gala and the central Borders.

I am checking with Scotrail if additional carriages will be available for the Ridings and the Melrose Sevens.

Events in London

It is so sad that one man, armed with knives and a hired car, can become a lethal weapon against everyday life.

With the internet, unfortunately the disease of terrorism can spread undetected. Copycat actions become a matter of time.

There is, of course, a substantial impact on security at Westminster and the Scottish Parliament.

When I first came here some 18 years ago, in the old parliament offices at the top of the High Street (now an hotel) you waved at reception and wandered in. Visitors simply gave their name and went up to our offices. In the debating chamber (the Church of Scotland General Assembly Hall), MSPs just went in a side door with one security chap there. This was before 9/11.

Now when in the public area they all wear stab vests and there is a special security check (as at airports) on visitors well away from the public areas of the parliament. There are bollards surrounding the building and no waste bins. All a necessary sign of the times.

None of this, however, will prevent completely some wicked, cruel, indiscriminate action of the kind witnessed last week on Westminster Bridge.

It was right that the Scottish Parliament suspended business in a demonstration of solidarity with Westminster, but also right that it was back to business the very next day – democracy demonstrating that it will not and cannot defer to terrorism.

Recess

The week beginning April 2 till April 16, parliament has its Easter recess.

While I won’t be doing my Tesco Friday surgeries, I will be around for emails and meetings.

The office in Gala will be functioning as per usual, so if there are matters requiring our attention then feel free to get in touch.