Comment posted Job losses of established staff follow SPT’s change of operator of Kilcreggan Ferry by Robert Wakeham.
It’s as if the authorities are turning their backs on this area and hoping it’ll just disappear. There’s a chance for the government to take the lead, for Alex & co to realise that there’s more to building a country than cultivating the fat cats of dubious integrity and realise that they have a duty of constructive care for communities that seem to be subject to destructive neglect. Just what have SPT and Argyll & Bute Council done to foster links between communities on the lower Clyde that grew up around efficient, integrated ferry links that are being allowed to wither away and die in the face of the motor car? The cost of driving is going nowhere but up, and if ever there was a time for realising that these places need robust and affordable ferry links if they’re to prosper, it’s now. Alex, forget the Trumps and Murdochs as role models and remember what Robert Burns had to say about the real people, because they’re who you’re ultimately accountable to.
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Ideally it should be the end of the SPT era, with the future of Clyde passenger ferries entrusted to those with the vision to see the long term value in fostering a useful, reliable system – and the competence, integrity and determination to see their function as not just feathering their own nests while the services steadily decay through official neglect – Scotland’s not in the third world, is it?.
- If SPT were up to speed ferry passengers would buy their train ticket on the ferry, or even be able to buy a combined ferry+train ticket, and there would be no nonsense about having to traipse down to the station ticket office and then back to the train. Train+ferry and train+bus tickets are commonplace in the civilised world, so what world does SPT inhabit?
- Surely telling porkies to win a contract would only stack up if the contract administrator was porky-tolerant, so it’ll be interesting to see how SPT handle this.
- Which leaves an outside observer wondering whether politicians at both central and local government level mught have been placing far to much faith in SPT. Easy to say with hindsight, but then I think there were warning signs when some senior officials were brought to book for being more interested in what SPT could do for them than what it was doing for public transport. And the Holyrood government stripped SPT of control of the Strathclyde region suburban train system – that wasn’t just down to party political hubris, was it?
- The ambience of Gourock station is that of some East European sink town around the time communism collapsed.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- Western Ferries: history and valediction
‘…which seemed like a refugee from Las Vegas’ – could well be called The Good Ship Bling. But I wonder if there might have been outside influences at work on the decor, perhaps connected with the economic and political clout of the distillers and the steady rise in the importance of Whisky Tourism?
There’s a parallel here with the Norwegian Hurtigruten system of very long distance coastal ferries, where many of the ‘old hands’ preferred to patronise the ships of more traditional character rather than the brash modern ‘gin palaces’, apparently designed to appeal to the international tourist market..
- Best Environment Project Award for Helix Park and the Kelpies
Or the Grangemouth petrochemicals complex?
- Greece crisis: the timetable and the moves
The way things are going, if Alex Salmond is at a bit of a loose end down at Westminster he could always take a wad of Euros out of a cash machine (I’m pretty sure you can do that, some places in London), nip over to Greece and advise the new lads running the show on their negotiating skills. Maybe he’s already there.
- Western Ferries: history and valediction
Definitely a must-buy, but surely not from Amazon when you can purchase it from your local bookshop in Argyll.
In fact there’s a parallel here with ferry services – with Western Ferries & Pentland Ferries comparable to your local bookshops and Serco more like Amazon.
- Council cuts teacher numbers – without consultation – at Sandbank Gaelic Medium Unit
At least there’s good news from outwith Argyll today, with the new School Closure Review Panel putting a stop to Highland Council’s plans to close four primaries in Skye and consolidate the kids in one new school.
But maybe – in the not too distant future – Scottish schoolkids will be sitting at desks more like those horrible computerised supermarket checkouts, with nary a teacher in sight and ‘electronic countermeasures’ to discipline any misbehaviour. Roll over, George Orwell.
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