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

  • And the 2014 Kilberry Scarecrow winners are…
    Apologies. We must have missed the Thorley family one. We saw only one Clyde.
    If you have a photograph of the prizewinning Clyde and would email it to us at: we wold be delighted to publish the Thorley creation.
  • Better Together still clueless – and about to do more harm
    Nothing could ever persuade me to support one of the most irresponsible, deceiving and divisive campaigns I had imagined possible in the developed world in the 21st century.
    This doesn’t mean that I or For Argyll would therefore talk up the undeserving opposing campaign – which is lazy, complacent, unfocused, tedious, unexciting, internally riven, leaderless, directionless and pointless.
    The only fun has been the opportunist Northern and Western Isles seizing the chance to negotiate for greater devolution for themselves, whatever the outcome of the referendum.
    I will personally vote for Scotland to stay in the Union, because I have come to believe that this is the best thing for Scotland – and for the union – not just the safest option but the one with the longest legs for the future.
    What I then want to see is Scotland taking the United Kingdom by the scruff of its moribund neck and leading a root and branch reform of the shape and operation of the politics of a union too important and too valuable to let go; but that needs to work very differently to be in a position to develop and implement strategic and sustained economic development that never loses sight of social justice.
    Pipe dreaming, of course – but no one should ever settle for an obviously unachievable sales pitch in the hope that it will all turn out OK in the end. It won’t.
    Why have the intelligence that distinguishes us from other species – and choose to neuter it?
    Today’s world is not a place for narrow parochial nationalism unable to tolerate difference. It has been disturbing to see the attitudes and practices that have emerged in this campaign – and on the nationalist side – to silence, to bully and to punish those who genuinely think differently – as they are democratically entitled to do.
    I confess to noticing myself yesterday editing to protect the interests of a business whose scarecrow entry in the Kilberry festival [for God's sake] – was likely to bring the cybergnat stingers from all over the place on their heads. So I didn’t mention the entry or the business or display the photograph of it that I had taken. We are not a free society at the moment and I genuinely worry how much worse it will get if we vote ‘Yes’ and this mindset rules the roost.
  • Indy and the Monarchy
    The EU has a lot to answer for in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine – and, at root, much of this responsibility lies with the UK and the helpless patsy Gordon Brown pushed to have wildly overpromoted to the level of the EU’s first Foreign Affairs Minister.
    The territorial games that the EU has played with Ukraine, in offering seductions, has given them reason to imagine that they may do less than negotiate with Russia – where there are indisputably serious issues with large ethnic Russian communities in eastern Ukraine who do not appear to be treated equitably – and that thier new friends will come to their aid if necessary.
    If Ukraine imagines that any one of the western states busily stoking anti-Russian international opinion, they will find themselves out on a limb with absolutely none of these states coming to their aid. Such an action is easily capable of tipping the world into conflict the like of which we have not seen – for what?
    We’ll be lucky if a cold war is the worst that emerges from the actions of the current clutch of inexperienced irresponsibles – and that includes John Kerry and William Hague.
  • Indy and the Monarchy
    Speaking personally, it’s hard to disagree with this.
  • Clyde RIver ferry: Business Scotland interview with CalMac’s Martin Dorchester
    Bit of a ‘Doh’ moment. Confess to having forgotten that it’s an amphibian simply because of knowing it only as taking off and landing on the water.
    Being on the tarmac at Glasgow would make it a very seductive experience for both golf and scenery packages.

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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.
    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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