Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

Comment posted Was this a fair tender process? Government cuts Orkney ferry frequencies within days of Serco contract award by newsroom.

Many thanks. This is very helpful.

newsroom also commented

  • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

    If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

Recent comments by newsroom

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    We withdrew our earlier reference to a story reported on a campaign website fighting against this legislation when we ourselves lost confidence in the straightforwardness of that story as reported.
    This legislation is unacceptable in a mature democracy but that does not mean that we would lend credibility to campaign material we could not stand over.
  • Scotsman reports Sturgeon fast backtrack on Full Fiscal Autonomy
    You may be thinking here of the Barnett Consequentials rather than the basic Barnett Formula.
  • ONE VOTE for democracy and the freedom to be different
    Very interesting paper. Thank you.
  • Dead in the water: Oban transit marina
    You are absolutely right. Oban was a fantastic fit for this project.
    Rothesay has pontoon berths in its inner harbour which allow walk ashore straight into the town.
    But this facility it is not well kept and looks grubby and down at heel – and the centre of Rothesay itself is the same or worse.
    Even though Oban is shabby now, lacking investment in maintenance by too many commercial property owners, it remains a spectacular town where the opportunity to walk ashore would have become a word-of-mouth must-go-there in the sailing world in no time.
    But – you can take a horse on an eight year tutorial but you can’t make it think.
  • Dead in the water: Oban transit marina
    An accurate if depressing analysis.
    A lot of leisure sailor also do not own their own boats but charter them for cruising holidays.
    Family sailing holidays are a substantial part of activity in this sector – so the spectrum of visitors who would have used the transit marina that might have been, would not have been narrow.
    The fundamental message that councillors and officers have been unwilling to grasp – because it inconvenienced a clear and standing intention to down this long suffering project, which is at least now put of its misery – is that leisure sailors are a captive audience.
    Sailing is camping at sea – all necessities onboard – although, from fuel to food, needing regular resupplying – but no frills.
    Eating out is a delight – and no washing up to be done in a standup galley. Banter in a pub is a change of scene. Using your legs is welcome in walking around, browsing and exploring locally.
    Almost all of this involves local spending, on a daily basis; and this audience is there to spend. They’re on holiday.
    The minority of sailors who are well off are mature, often retired – with a lifetime of work behind them to earn what they have.
    Some folk own caravans and motorhomes to explore on land, Those who love the water have boats for the same purpose – and the boats often cost a lot less than the motorhomes; but, on some senselessly classist two-way autocue, motorhomes are branded downmarket and boats as toffpots.
    Will Oban get £1million a year from cruise ship passengers?

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8 Responses to Many thanks. This is very helpful. …

  1. Well I wait with baited breath to see how The Doc, DMH, Morag, Anne and the rest of the usual suspects put a positive spin on this, the latest bit of chicanery by the SNP!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. @ Newsroom: You will find up-to-date transport statistics on the Transport Scotland website. To save you from having to search for it yourselves, here’s the link to the 2011 figures.
    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/strategy-and-research/publications-and-consultations/j205779-00.htm
    Given traffic levels on the Pentland Firth service mid-winter — the midday crossing usually only carries a handful of vehicles, often in single figures — I am left wondering if any other bidder saw savings to be made by omitting it when really it’s not needed. Yes, I know it’s supposedly a ‘Lifeline Service’, but be realistic about this — there are still two other NorthLink sailings and also Banksie’s catamaran running three times a day too. Did Northlink themselves (or anyone else) bid to run three runs every day? Without knowing that, criticising Serco is a bit harsh in this instance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. “When the change of service provider was announced following the tendering process, Orkney and Shetland were assured that they would see improvements to the services. Is this it?”

    I am sure Transport Scotland will find some way to claim its a better service. The claim does not need to have any basis in reality. Look at the improved service we got in Dunoon with bigger boats!

    Does the Orkney service include relief vessels or has that been “improved” so that sailings get cut in half anytime a vessels breaks down or needs serviced – as in Dunoon.

    It is a good point about the contract being changed immediately after companies bid, though presumably even Transport Scotland were not stupid enough to leave themselves exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. The forArgyll article stated “The issue with which we are concerned is whether this substantial change of required service provision, coming to son after the award of contract, invalidates the tender”

    But, as I now understand it, the tender specification essentially invited bidders to reduce from 3 to 2 return crossings per weekday for the non-peak period. The non-peak period was not specified and had to be defined by the bidder.

    So most of this article was un-researched forargyll speculation about an article read somewhere else and then regurgitated as news and information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We gave the information direct from the government tender document – which is hardly unresearched.

      If you have other documentary evidence to the contrary, why not give links to it so that readers may see it for themselves, rather than make what at the moment are unsupported declarations?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Having watched Question Time the other night, I was astounded at the paucity of comment in favour of the union. Even Forsyth made an idiot of himself.

    It does appear, yet again, our very own SNP are leading the charge for a ‘NO’ vote in 2014. Their defense probably will be something to do with Green issues or European rules…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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