Comment posted Transport Minister answers McGrigor’s questions on ferries and A83 by ferryman.
These are hardly probing questions. Yes, AFL are delivering the service they were contracted to. That is why AFL report close to 100% reliability.
The real question is why did the contract not specify that the ferries should be able to cope with weather conditions on the Firth of Clyde?
As it stands any time the ferries cannot sail due to the weather then, under the contract, it counts as if they HAVE sailed!
Just recently we have seen both the bathtubs unable to sail in what were really quite mild conditions and that still counts as 100% reliability.
ferryman also commented
- Are you deliberately missing the point?
Argyll Ferries ARE performing to the contract.
The contract permits abysmal service because nowhere does it specify what weather conditions the ferries should be able to sail in.
Users of other ferries whose routes may be tendered beware. Make sure any tender and contract either specifies minimum sizes for vessels or specifies what sea conditions they should be able to sail in. Otherwise, like ours, your bathtubs will stay in port and notch up 100% reliability.
You also want to make sure provision is made for relief vessels so that you don’t end up with a half service for four or more weeks each year when ferries need maintenance.
Also if you have a special event (we have Cowal Games) make sure it is adequately covered.
The REAL question is who was responsible for not doing any of the above on the Dunoon Gourock ferry route.
Recent comments by ferryman
- Argyll Flyer in Ardmaleish boatyard
Will the current linkspan works be completed by Friday 21/June?
Working on the linkspan while the Argyll Flyer was having its recent scheduled maintenance would have made sense, but they did not do it.
Bring forward maintenance on the Argyll Flyer by a minimum of 6 months and more than likely 8-9 months seems odd.
Why are they not waiting till September to work on the Argyll Flyer. That is closer to when she is due her maintenance and I hear the Gourock linkspan will be out of action again then?
- Shetland Line remains in legal contention with Scottish Government on Northlink Ferries tender
Regarding the Dunoon Gourock ferry service one of the ‘needs and requirements’ the Scottish Government failed to specify was that the vessels employed could actually operate reliably in the weather on the Firth of Clyde.
How incompetent is that!
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
The Ali Cat was having technical problems whilst the Argyll Flyer was being maintained recently, resulting in periods of no service.
Following its maintenance the Argyll Flyer was indeed continuing to suffer technical problems.
The linkspan at Gourock is now being serviced with the result that the Argyll ferries is, once again running a reduced service. This happened right through the Dunoon Film Festival.
It is beyond belief that the Argyll Flyer maintenance and the repairs to the linkspan should not have been planned to run concurrently and without clashing with the Film Festival.
- Scottish Government forced to intervene on loose-mouthed Russell gaffe in Campbeltown
JimB asked “why does Dunoon not set out to attract day trippers?”
Dunoon would make an excellent destination for people from Glasgow seeking both Day Tripper and Weekend Breaks.
Why don’t they come though?
Well they certainly won’t drive the long way round, it is too far. There are plenty of other attractive destinations that are closer to home.
A relatively short drive and the pleasant experience of a ferry crossing to the town ought to be attractive, but then we hit the price barrier – £44.50 for a young family of 4 in a car.
Why would people pay that premium to come to Dunoon when they can go elsewhere?
The passenger only service is unattractive because of its unreliability.
What Dunoon needs is a truly competing vehicle ferry services.
- Reminder: Argyll Ferries on ‘refit’ service schedule
The scottish Government has failed to deliver on the transferable ferry tickets it was going to setup. The bus scheme is a bodge that adds anything upto two hours to travel time.
Any news on what they are going to do for Cowal Games or are they just going to try another gamble on the weather.
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