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Flattered that you took the time to inspect …

Comment posted Jackie Baillie MSP calls on SPT to ‘get a grip’ on Kilcreggan ferry situation by Hamish Beaton.

Flattered that you took the time to inspect the Electrol Register? No, not from your area. My interest stems from the days I used the Gourock Helensburgh ferry, it made travelling from Cowal to Dumbarton easier and enjoyable. I think the withdrawal of the Helensburgh service was fundamentally flawed, and I can see the same approach to the remaining service being applied by SPT, which will lead to its eventual withdrwal on the grounds that it is poorly used. So there are three issues. Firstly There is the current safety concerns which need raising with MCA – I have given the phone number. In addition there is a confidential reporting system MARS again I have given contact details. Secondly there’s the SPT. There is a Government policy that SPT must provide services to the community. OK my view is that SPT take the easy path in that if the service is borderline necessary, then they appear to let it wither to the point where they can say it is unjustified and close it. I believe that that the service needs to be run and SPT needs to promote it as the last ferry that permits a middle reach circular route of the Clyde. Furthermore – I believe that the Helensburgh section should be reinstated and the route integrated into bus rail timetable, linking the North and the South banks with integrated transport hubs of Helensburgh to Gourock. That these transport system should not work in isolated “silos” but be integrated.
Thirdly. Yes I did have a pop at you Councillor Freeman, no personal malice intended, and I guess you are busy with much on your plate but you have to ask “what have I achieved by what I do”. I would have thought that you need to take every opportunity to put your and the wider community case to SPT until they are sick of hearing from you, and your mates. The actions taken so far indicated that you will get the brush off until some ombudsman intervenes or the issue is kicked into the long grass. Perhaps a disservice to you, but that is the conclusion I reached from what you said. Now If I’m wrong and SPT bend to the will of the people then I apologise. After all they said that the Tarbert Portavadie ferry was a dead loss now just compare and contrast the money spent in that region and the new jobs generated. Oh, and by the way, I will use the service, even if just to pop across for an ice cream on a sunny day and I’ll bring my mates too.

Hamish Beaton also commented

  • How can so many people disagree with Kerr or is this site being nobbled?
  • Councilor George Freeman
    “Meeting have been held with the SPT Chief Executive and other senior SPT officials – nothing happens (I refused to go to the last meeting the the SPT Chief Executive as I stated that, based on previous experience, it would be a waste of time and nothing would happen.”

    A waste of whose time Councilor Freeman? You are elected to represent the people. Surly it is necessary to meet with the SPT to understand and challenge their position.

  • AWS
    I think that the blue lines are meant to be left secured to the pier in a manner that permits the V/L to come alongside and the line retrieved from the pier decking and the V/L hove alongside and made fast. Therefore, the fact that the blue line is in the water means that the undocking procedure has failed.
    Piers are designed to take a limited amount of pounding, unlike a solid structure. In fact the pier’s stiffening is designed primarily to resist a compression impact. Clearly, as reported here, if the V/L steams away at speed then like a tug there will be a bollard pull of several tonnes. Having stood on the poop or foc’sle when a rope parts, I can tell you it is a most unpleasant experience, with the potential for serious injury or death. This instant is a dangerous occurrance, given the proximity of the open aft shelter passenger space to the mooring ropes and the likely hood of a warp or line parting and whipping inboard and must be reported to the MCA as an unsafe maneuver, coupled by what sound like a breakdown in the ship’s management, command and control.
    I guess Argyll Council will be interested to inspect this maneuver given the likely hood of damage to their structure.
    I would also propose that SPT’s corporate communications department do not have the maritime expertise to adjudge what is dangerous maneuver (or do they just ban passengers from photographing ships and posting to the internet or rubbishing their clients about what they saw and reported? Clearly disciples of the Argyll method of information management) – that is why it is best left to the experts – the MCA.
    Maritime and Coastguard Agency
    Navy Buildings
    Eldon Street
    PA16 7QY
    Tel : 01475 729988
  • Local River Worker 2
    I think that you’l find that the SPT is a not for profit organisation that cannot balance it’s books without a central Government grant. It is also mandated by the Scottish Government to provide a minimum level of local transport across its region. All it’s services are cross subsidized, some more than others. The ferry is there to provide access to essential services on both banks of the clyde, the fact that it runs at all is amazing given the inept management and their inability to advertise the ferry’s benefits. It need not be this way, there is a demand, and with imaginative marketing this demand can be increased, bringing tourists and jobs to a beautiful part of the river. It’s just that this SPT quango lacks vision and enterprise. They have a strange creed, if doesn’t break even axe it, good old Dr Beeching stuff, and look at the legacy he left us. It’s good to see what kids in Argyll can do on the internet, both advertising Argyll and tying the bureaucratics up in knots at the same time – magic, it’s a pity that the adults weren’t as creative. It’s a great wee ferry but badly run and managed, with an ageing boat, but this can be changed given the will to succeed.
  • There is an anonymous reporting system MARS run by It is designed just for such incidents, where the management and crew close ranks to refute any situation which may lead to an accident or not be in the interest of best practice.
    The Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme is primarily a confidential reporting system run by The Nautical Institute to allow full reporting of accidents (and near misses) without fear of identification or litigation. As a free service to the industry, MARS reports also regularly comprise alerts condensed from official industry sources, so that issues resulting from recent incidents can be efficiently relayed to the mariner on board, and is a valuable risk assessment, work planning, loss prevention tool and training aid for crew and management.
    They want to hear about any unsafe practices, dangerous occurrences, personal accidents, near miss situations or equipment failures which you have experienced, and any methods adopted to prevent repetitions. Within the context of ship operations, the scheme is unlimited, international in outlook, and open to commercial, naval, fishing and pleasure users.
    Email your report to them, or print the MARS hardcopy form and, if required, the continuation form, record your report on these forms and send to:
    MARS Editor – Confidential
    The Nautical Institute
    202 Lambeth Road
    SE1 7LQ, UK
    MCA and all nautical bodies support MARS. If SPT think that dangerous occurances can be swept under the carpet then they should think again.
    Ferry tries to leave terminal with a line ashore made fast is less than comic these days

Recent comments by Hamish Beaton

  • Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police
    Netiquette on the internet is as important as anywhere else, including work. Allowing the standards of politeness to slip simply because the medium used emboldens people who would usually not be so forthright in a face-to-face context is not acceptable.
    The language used is clearly abusive and/or derogatory. (A posting filled with foul language, or a suggestion as such, this is likely to be a breach of workplace policy, and it’s highly unprofessional. It can also be the cause for legal action depending on what is said, especially if it threatens, harasses, or slurs.)
    I am not against robust comment – and will “fight my corner” -but frankly if this “mail” was sent to me by post or at my place of work, I would have no other recourse than copy it to Security for their consideration. The fact that it has appeared at all suggests that ForArgyll perhaps condones or is prepared to accept abuse which would be totally out of place at home or in the work place – goodbye
  • Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police
    ““Where do community events – and we’re talking little weekly get togethers here, not just annual galas, go from here with their raffles?”
    Continue as they have done for years!”
    Yes, the Law makes provision for the above. The daft thing is that a lottery licence for a public Charity Raffle for selling to the general public is free to anyone that applies. The conditions of granting a Charity Raffle licence, are to makes sure that everything is “above board” and not a scam. According to the Scottish Sun, the person selling the unlicensed lottery at the Co-op knew what they were about and allegedly chose not to seek a licence. That’s OK for that person but it creates all sort of legal problems for the shop who are now complicit in breaking the law and for the receiving charity, who, unwittingly in receipt of moneys are in breach too and maybe liable to investigation by the Charity Commission. Far from me to suggest that this person was doing anything deceitful, but their alleged disregard for the law has brought heartache, tears and opened Pandora’s box, all for the want of 10 minutes simple paperwork, which would have legitimised and enhanced their work.
  • Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police
    Yo no responden normalmente a las agresiones abusivas. Pero, ¿sería usted terminar más si me escribió en su blog acerca de caca de perro en español?
  • Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police
    suggest you buy a shovel and bucket from next door to the Co-Op
  • Community raffle concerns over councillor’s reporting of Tarbert raffle to police

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