Comment posted Dunoon ferry meeting revealed more than it knew by Robert Wakeham.
I’m relatively distant from the problem, but have occasionally used the ferries, and was taken aback at the sheer unpleasantness of the ‘passenger experience’ transferring between train and ‘streaker’ at Gourock. If you’re a foot passenger, you must have been enduring this; if you’re a vehicle driver, perhaps you’ve been unaware of it.
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Dave Forbes – going by past history you might decide not to vote at all, as no one political party seems to have covered themselves with glory organising Clyde ferrie. Not voting for someone isn’t going to solve the problem, which is surely a bit wider than just the effectiveness of Dunoon – Gourock connections?
- Ferryman: The next step is to do the physical feasibility and the financial arithmetic: A) between a passenger ferry at the existing station or a passenger/vehicle ferry at the existing ramp at Gourock, with the station relocated alongside and the redevelopment value of the existing station site recovered, and B) on whatever Dunoon terminal improvements are required to suit the best option, and optimise the passenger facilities there.
I do think that the fact that a vehicle ferry has been using the existing vehicle ramp at Gourock for years is no excuse for accepting the disfunctional link between trains and boats for foot passengers; you seem to think that this is just my opinion but – as you’re a foot passenger yourself – you must be aware that the current set-up is very poor, and it’s obviously has been ever since the vehicle ramp was first established. As there’s already very good vehicle ferry service I really don’t think that the re-establishment of another vehicle service is a factor unless it is a fact that it is necessary to ensure the boats are fit for purpose (which I suspect can be disproved by current practice elsewhere) and unless the vehicle ferry option justifies whatever the cost of relocating the station. For all I know the value of the land released could cover this cost, and maybe more. Whether the passenger or vehicle ferry option wins the day there’ll be ‘experts’ screaming ‘can’t be done’, and they might be the biggest challenge of the lot, together with a host of people who might be far more interested in endless party political backbiting, point-scoring and spoiling tactics than in actually getting the job done.
- Ferryman: I’m pretty sure that similar routes exist elsewhere in the world, served successfully by passenger ferries. Because I think that the vehicle ramp at Gourock is too far from the station, I don’t have complete confidence in the Deloitte Touche advice, because I don’t think they carried out ‘due diligence’ as well as they should have. If Network Rail, or a developer of the existing station site, were to finance a new station at the Calmac terminal then a vehicle ferry would be an option; otherwise, it isn’t. I can’t help thinking that the people arguing for a vehicle ferry don’t really care for the needs of the foot passenger, and in these circumstances I don’t think the financial argument alone justifies the need for vehicle carrying.
- Jim: ‘Ferryman’, in response to comment 16, reports that passenger numbers have been greater than expected, and this suggests to me that ‘all is not lost’. Surely a critical difference between Cowal and Cumbrae is that the current ‘out of town’ service to Cumbrae still links with Glasgow via the train at Largs, whereas Western Ferries doesn’t link with Gourock station.
- In the ‘good old days’ Western Ferries on the Kennacraig – Port Askaig run went one better than sick bags – the hot drinks machine that stood in for the ‘Sound Catering’ lady with her bacon rolls (and who had more sense than to be on the pre-dawn service in the winter) used to dispense a potent mixture of chicken soup and hot chocolate if the ship wasn’t on an even keel. I was never, ever, sick.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
Doesn’t the SPTE have a remit to co-ordinate public transport provision here? – maybe I’m imagining it, or maybe they’re just pretending, or maybe they’re only really interested in Strathclyde bus services and the Glasgow subway (on the basis that only a tiny proportion of voters use the Gourock ferries, and politics is all)
- 31 hour shout Tobermory Lifeboat’s longest ever, ending in joint operation with Oban lifeboat
The Oban Times reported on 6th June on the MAIB report on a similar incident last July when a small container ship rammed the Isle of Bute, and apparently legal action is ongoing.
- Refloated cargo ship MV Fri Ocean escorted to Lynn of Lorne – and on into Oban
Not being a mariner, I wonder why – in this day and age of almost universal use of radar (and GPS?) for navigation – ships don’t seem to be equipped with a proximity alarm, a bloody great klaxon fit to waken the dead, that is triggered if the boat closes with an identifiable hazard.
It would have to be capable of deactivation in harbour areas and, eg, places like the Corran Narrows – but would surely be invaluable, especially at night.
Maybe it would be seen as a dangerous threat to the need for proper watch keeping.
- Auchindrain in crisis: facing paying off its two permanent staff
Considering how all the wind farm developers are so keen (and can clearly afford) to provide substantial funding to help local community ventures, this is surely a prime example of an exceptionally good local cause with national significance.
- Baton of SAMS Deputy Director passes from Jones to Miller
With the range of expertise at SAMS would I be naive to hope that it should be possible for this country to resolve the controversies surrounding marine aquaculture – the environmental impacts of waste pollution, and of sea lice infestation and treatment?
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