Livingston’s Josh Quigley hoping to set the fastest ever time to cycle around the NC500 this weekend

Endurance rider Josh Quigley is embarking on a new challenge this weekend – to set the fastest time to cycle the North Coast 500. In December last year, Josh was on a solo round-the-world trip when he was hit from behind by a car in Texas, and sent flying 50 yards.
The former Deans Community High School pupil was in hospital for five weeks, treated for a fractured skull, traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, punctured lung and multiple leg fractures.
Nine months on, he is back in the saddle on a world record attempt – a non-stop circuit of the North Coast 500 tourist route. Fellow endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont set an initial cycling record for the route of 37 hours and 58 minutes. It was later slashed to 31 hours and 23 minutes by James McCallum. Josh set off from Inverness Castle at 5am today, and aims to raise money for the Texas medical centre that treated him. Speaking on his Facebook page yesterday, Josh said, “Thank you to everybody who has followed and support the last 5 years.What a transformation from the boy who got on the bike looking for a reason to live. Never in a million years did I think I’d be where I am now and about to take on a record attempt.”
As of 1945 this evening, Josh has just passed Loch Assynt and Lochinver and is hopefully on track to break the record!
Good luck Josh!
Photo credit – Josh Quigley

We visited The Centre in Livingston today and 96% of shoppers were wearing masks

Face coverings are now compulsory in shops but this has not stopped shoppers returning to newly-opened malls, including The Centre Livingston and nearby Livingston Designer Outlet. After reports in the English press that shoppers in England had been hostile to wearing masks, we wanted to see for ourselves how compliant Scottish shoppers were with the Scottish Government’s Phase 3 rules. And we are pleased to confirm that in a walk through test of The Centre today, we found that 96% of shoppers were wearing masks. At midday today in the middle of The Centre we observed whether or not the first 100 shoppers walking past were wearing masks or not. And impressively 96 out of 100 were. Of the four not, two were children (aged over five) eating/ drinking. We did not interact with any of the shoppers so it is unclear if the two men we observed not wearing masks had an underlying health condition.  (Rules regarding face covering exemptions can be found on the Scottish Government website). Overall, the experience of visiting stores today felt well-controlled and organised, with shop and Centre staff clear on what new procedures needed to be followed. If the economy is to recover, shoppers will need to have confidence to venture out of their doors and into public spaces again. The early signs are positive, however. The mall had remained partially open since March for essential stores including the M&S food hall, Boots and banks.  
Stock photo used for Title photo dates from 2018 and before lockdown  

West Lothian College Test Centre has capacity to undertake 600 Covid-19 tests a week

Dozens of West Lothian NHS and social care staff were screened for Covid-19 in just three days after a new testing centre was opened in Livingston on 23rd April. The facility opened in the grounds of West Lothian College and 73 key workers were tested for the virus during the first three days of opening. The new testing centre has the capacity to undertake 600 tests per week and is open to NHS Lothian, Health and Social Care and local care home staff. Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director, NHS Lothian, said: “We are pleased that uptake of Covid-19 testing at our new testing facility at West Lothian College for health and social care staff has been very encouraging with 73 tests undertaken since opening.
“This new facility allows us to expand testing availability, providing additional access to testing for staff.”

Police ask for public’s help to share information following wilful fire-raising incident in Livingston

Police in West Lothian are appealing for information following a wilful fire-raising in Livingston. The incident happened around 5pm on Thursday, 23 April, at the Bellway new homes development, Houston Road, in the Eliburn area of the town. The fire was extinguished by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and no one was injured. Detective Constable John Irvine, of Livingston CID, said: “Thankfully no one was injured but damage amounting to tens of thousands of pounds was caused to a property. “We are appealing for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious before or after the incident to get in touch. If you have information please call Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 2707 of Thursday, 23 April, or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

New Aldi store opening in Livingston in 2020

Aldi has announced this week a new store in Livingston as part of its continued investment and expansion across the UK. Aldi will open six new stores in Scotland this year and its new £25 million storage and chill facility in Bathgate will be fully up and running by May. The new stores will be at Houstoun Road in Livingston, Crown Street in Glasgow, Commercial Street in Edinburgh, Rigg Street in Stewarton,  Gallowgate in Parkhead, and Gateside Commercial Park in Haddington. The shops and chill facility will create 200 jobs, taking the number of Aldi staff in Scotland to 2800 by the end of 2020. Richard Holloway, regional managing director for Scotland stated: “This is an exciting time for Aldi as we look ahead to 2020 and plan for the next 25 years in Scotland. Our new state-of-the-art storage and chill facility will be fully operational by the end of April, which will aid our expansion across Scotland while allowing us to increase the range of Scottish products available on our shelves. For several years Aldi has led the way with local sourcing, and we see Scotland as a key area of growth for the business. We’re proud to have reached our ambition to stock over 450 Scottish products significantly ahead of our target of the end of 2020, and we will continue to work in partnership with our local suppliers to increase this to over 500 locally sourced products in the next two years. With six new stores planned for next year and a further six being refreshed and upgraded, we’re looking forward to serving even more local communities and expanding our market share even further.