onderland slides downhill

n a Surprise return to her

environmentalist roots.

Scottish transport minister Sarah Boyack announced on 23 October that £76m was to be earmarked for improved public transpOrt in 26 proiects across Scotland. While the decision was congratulated and Such spending welcomed. it doesn‘t exactly rectify the eco-unfriendly imbalance in which much greater largess is shown towards new roads and increased automobile traffic. After all. public money to be consumed by the

proposed M74 extension alone one single ill-begotten five-mile moton/vay project in Glasgow is more than three times the £76m boost to public transpon.

‘This major investment in Scotland's public transport system will make a real difference to tackling congestion and offering attractive public transpon alternatives to the car.‘ says Boyack. But Kevin Dunion. chief exeCutive at Friends of the Earth Scotland. differs. ‘The Scottish Executive has a long way to go before its spending on public transpon comes anywhere near the sums being thrown at road building schemes.‘ he says.

Former Perrier winner and all-round funny guy (let's face it. the terms aren't mutually inclusive) Rich Hall is recording a pilot for a BBC show. The

new album by the end of the year. Maybe . . . Another unnecessary comeback comes from Boney M who are having their ‘Daddy Cool'

Sledges at the ready for Capital Christmas.

Words: David Stanners

Christmas is coming and so too is a feast of new family events to kick off the festive period in Edinburgh from 19 November to 24 December. Accompanying the traditional displays of bright Iights. olg round wheels and the parade along Princes Street :2 Decemberl. Will be a new weekend of international street theatre l8 and 9 December).

If y0u're feeling energetic. then how abOut testing whether all those years spent sledging down mud and sleet on Arthur‘s Seat were of any use? For the first time. the Winter Wonderland ice stage. run by the Gilded Balloon lalso running Glasgow's George Square ice rinki. Wlli feature a toboggan run.

Charity events include a fundraising comedy gala at the Queen's Hall (12 Decemberi in aid of the Give a Little Magic charity appeal.

Boyack gives fuel to public transport

Roads funding is still in the fast lane, say lobbyists. Words: Barry Shelby

Acc0rding to FOE. the exeCutive has earmarked about €48Am for building new roads Since November 1999. Until the recent announcement. the annual budget for improvements in a// areas ofpub/ic transpOrt was abOut £50m. As transport guru David Begg recently wrote In Scotland on Sundays business pages. “the reality is that a large slice of Scotland's transpOrt budget has been drained” by the proposed M74 scheme. 'The problem.‘ he continued. ‘is that in Scotland we have adopted a very pro-road strategy fOr a generation and there is no sign of it Changing' (Barry Shelbyi

she deserves Wlih a new romantic sitcom called ReSCt/e Me. She plays a successful thirty/something magaZine features writer with a

project is believed to be in the vein of Disney's 60s comedies . . . On the same theme. Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger are hooking


show will be known as Rich Hall '3 Bad/y Funded Think Tank . . . Another

his arse; his paraphrased

words. not ours. Expect a

remixed to coincide with the December release of a greatest hits

Leo The . Great grizzled old-timer Chuck compilation . . . Unliker prepares Berry is reported to be couple Billy Bob ‘0 90"?" back in the studio after Thornton and ms twenty years of sitting on Angelina Jolie are armour

teaming up for a romantic comedy. The unnamed

up as man and wife for Lasse Hallstrom's The Cindere/la man. a biopic about heavyweight boxer Jim Braddock . . . The very talented Sally Phillips (Smack The Pony. I'm Alan Patridgel finally gets the attention

failing marriage . . . Martin Scorsese has approached his Current favOurite son Leonardo DiCaprio to star in his forthcoming movie based on the Macedonian warrior. Alexander The Great.