I, the original Ferryman, did not make this …

Comment posted Clydelink Kilcreggan-Gourock service suspended amidst queries by Ferryman.

I, the original Ferryman, did not make this comment.

Ferryman also commented

  • I would be interested to know who Ferryman is as well.
    It appears I have a doppleganger. I am the original ferryman who started referring to the newsroom as aka soapbox. I did not make a post about the MCA and the Kilcreggan ferry.

Recent comments by Ferryman

  • Responses to Scottish Government’s Information Day on potential Gourock-Dunoon ferry service
    As usual newsroom bends things by quoting the MVA report as saying the vehicle service ‘could be feasible’.

    In fact the reports states; “This study has therefore demonstrated that, given the assumptions made and analysis
    undertaken here,a passenger and vehicle ferry service IS feasible.”
    [ see section 9.1.10 http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/files/documents/reports/j278759/j278759.pdf ]

    I am not surprised that Serco are interested in what is Scotland’s busiest vehicle ferry route particularly when the competition turns such a massive profit margin from poorly located ports.

    If Serco have wider ambitions for ferries in Scotland, as it seems they do, then Dunoon Gourock would make sense.

  • Scottish Government moves on Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services provision
    “A lifeline ferry service is required in order for a community to be viable.”

    So Dunoon is lifeline then – good.

  • Scottish Government moves on Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services provision
    Newsroom says that Dunoon Gourock is “not a lifeline service”.

    I think Dunoon Gourock is an essential lifeline service but obviously Soapbox aka Newsroom does not.

    So where is the definition of “lifeline” so that we can decide who is correct?

    The answer is that there is no definition – Transport Scotland shall decide, route by route, to whom that applies.

    As to contractual terms, look at Dunoon Gourock, anybody can run anything there is absolutely no contractual need for the service to be reliable. So if your route is goung to be tendered in this way you are totally unprotected.

    Of course Dunoon Gourock is only a piddling little route – well no, according to the Scottish Government it is the most important Scottish route for vehicle transport and significant even on European terms, but that of course is not enough to make it lifeline in Newsroom’s eyes.

  • So what will Transport Scotland talk to Brussels about on Dunoon-Gourock ferry?
    Read the report.

    The taxpayer and the people of Dunoon/Cowal can have a passenger only service and pay a subsidy for it.

    Alternatively they can pay the same subsidy and get a passenger and vehicle service.

    Of course if they choose the vehicle service then the subsidy is paid back via berthing fees both to the Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council – in other words to the public purse it is for practical purposes free (which the passenger only service is not). Not only that but the operator of the vehicle service makes a larger profit.

    All of which in a Scottish Government produced report meets all EC requirements.

  • Lairds powering on to get Western’s boats completed
    So they are not actually as promised going to be in service for the games this year?

    If they were in service what would the additional car carrying capacity and people carrying capacity per hour have been?

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26 Responses to I, the original Ferryman, did not make this …

  1. This has all the hallmarks of over zealous reporting, particularly as the information was provided by an active campaigner against the new operator. It is far more likely that it is a routine follow up audit of the Safety System by the MCA following the issuing of temporary certificates for the introduction of the service. I trust that if this is shown to be the case then an appropriate correction will be made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We have said that as soon as we hear from Clydelink we will update with the situation update – which will be authoritative.
      As you say, it may well be that this is a routine and passing disruption.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Ferryman if this was a routine follow up audit of the safety system then there is no excuse for a back up boat not to have been arranged and reliable service provided. Clydelink could also have given this information out on their website before the service was stopped to enable passengers to make alternative arrangements. I would like to make the point that campaigners are not campaigning against the operator but campaigning FOR a reliable safe service.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Ferryman – do you really think that the service could be suspended for a ‘routine follow up’, leaving people who depend on it in the lurch? Bad weather apart, if a ferry service can’t be relied on, it’s not a lot of use.

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    • I have just been informed that one of the unfortunate passengers is still travelling to Kilcreggan by bus and is just going through Dumbarton, a very long trip home indeed!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. This was certainly not over zealous reporting. To suggest that MCA would take the vessel out of service at the drop of a hat for a routine follow audit is ridiculous. If that was how MCA were to operate, then they would leave themselves open to severe criticism given that the travel plans of a number of people were severely disrupted. This comment makes me wonder who Ferryman actually is????

    I can assure Ferryman that I am not “an active campaigner against the new operator”. Along with those working with me on this issue, I have made it clear on a number of occasions to the CEO of SPT and others that we are not interested in who provides this service. All we are seeking is a safe and reliable service. At the moment, we do not have that.

    SPT were not aware of the withdrawal of the service until I informed them earlier today. I have spoken with a senior SPT official late this afternoon and they have confirmed that they will be investigating the matter and will be meeting with the contractor next week to discuss this issue.

    For the benefit of Ferryman, this is an issue that I will continue to pursue along with the communities that I represent to ensure that the public do have a safe and reliable service.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • The MCA have absolutely no concern about people’s travel plans. If they consider that a vessel is sailing without every ‘T’ crossed and ‘I’ dotted, they will prevent it from sailing. End of story. They, and they alone, permit a passenger ferry to operate. If an audit is required, or a re-audit necessary, then they will insist on it taking place, no matter if the timetable has to be suspended. That’s the way they work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I would be interested to know who Ferryman is as well.
      It appears I have a doppleganger. I am the original ferryman who started referring to the newsroom as aka soapbox. I did not make a post about the MCA and the Kilcreggan ferry.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • My parents and 2 young children went for the boat this am to find it cancelled. They had to cancel day trip to Dunoon as the bus wud take so long round by road to Gourock to catch the Dunoon ferry with no guarantee of ferry home available.
      They went back to Rosneath with the children and were given a local number to phone to check if ferry service resuming in afternoon. After calling they were told the boat was back on for 3pm one and took a taxi back to Kilcreggan to find that it wasn not back in service and coach service was all that was running.
      This is an outrageous way to treat customers; left to them to phone and check about service and then given erroneous information. My parents are pensioners and were then forced to endure an hour and a half road trip with the children instead of 15min crossing. Not to mention the fact they had to get home by rail and bus afterwards.

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  3. I was on the bus from Helensburgh to Kilcreggan Friday afternoon, and overheard a woman conplaining that her sister and children had taken the ferry to Gourock Fri am (thinking they’d be meeting the woman on the bus off a later ferry), only to be told on the Gourock side that the ferry wouldn’t be going back to Kilcreg. and they would have to make their way home via Glasgow. I am beginning to think that the ferry service is being deliberately undermined to give SPT an excuse to cancel it altogether!! Which is insane – given that a properly integrated ferry/bus service will be invaluable as petrol prices escalate in the future, and as thousands of tourists arrive by cruise ship into Greenock, all looking places to go and not necessarily on coach trips laid on by the cruise ships.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • This situation is clearly beyond the capabilities of SPT and Argyll and Bute council – in their present states – to manage, and central government has to step in.
      If the present Holyrood government can’t manage that, then how on earth can anyone believe they could manage an independent Scotland?

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      • Politicians DO NOT operate the ferry service , it’s the operators and WELL MAINTAINED BOATS. These two second-hand boats were probably purchased in a hurry after the new operator knew they had won the contract. The trouble with anything bought ‘used’ is that there could be hidden histories not ever reported. Clyde Marine Ltd has very well maintained vessels sitting idle in Victoria Dock. Politicians only turn up for the photo opportunity to get their mugs in the papers BUT NO if something is going wrong.

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  4. The public demand a safe reliable ferry service and I fear Clydelink are just not up to it!

    With all this hoohaa surely the Government should be stepping in and chartering Clyde Marine to run a safe reliable ferry again at least until a new competent tender is re-let.

    They should be looking at the directors of SPT to see if there are any criminal misgivings? Argyll & Bute Council should be cancelling the redundancy notices to their staff, at least until this mess is sorted out.

    Come on you people in power, let’s get this sorted before people get hurt and pier staff’s lives are in the bin?

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    • Ferrygood I totally agree to lay off pier staff is madness. A passenger who travelled on the 18.10 from Gourock to Kilcreggan yesterday was shocked to witness the ferry trying to sail from Kilcreggan pier with the ropes still tied to the pier and the crew had to shout to the skipper to alert him. This passenger has reported their concerns to the MCA.

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  5. This whole business suggests to me that this isa an SPT plot to discourage usage in order to justify discontuing theferry service. The only other view of it is of incredible incompetence on the part of SPT.

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  6. Why oh why did SPT even decide to re-tender the good safe and , more important , reliable Gourock-Kilcreggan-Helensburgh ferry service? The professionalism in which the crews of Clyde Marine Motoring Ltd carried out their duties was away beyond that of the new-kids-on-the-block. An alarm went off in the wheelhouse of the Stand-by boat Cailin Oir on the 5th May just as it proceeded from Gourock Pierhead and had to turn back barely 2 hundred yards out (something to do with the bilge sensors playing up. GIVE US BACK CLYDE MARINE PLEASE!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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