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.
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
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 http://www.nautinst.org/en/forums/mars/index.cfm 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
- Easdale Island emergency evacuation exercise identifies fixed link issue
The Island and policies are simply a slate bing, a slate grey tip, from our bygone industrial heritage. The original community slaved to fill in all the nooks and crannies with grey slate rubble – eventually being robbed of their livelihoods. Even Easdale Sound was narrowed and made shallow with the waste. It would be a trivial matter to drop a load of ballast into the shoal Sound from the old pier to the Island making a causeway and bingo a new peninsular created. Indeed create a new marina at the same time, off setting the original cost of the job and creating some-more permanent full time work. But I guess the locals would hate it, despising the committee members that proposed it. Aye this would really divide them more than the Sound does today and send them scuttling back to the indomitable bickering committees right enough?
- Easdale Island emergency evacuation exercise identifies fixed link issue
There is a lovely flat bottomed bow loading self propelled barge that takes the large wheelie bins away. Problem solved: Either only have a fire or evacuation on bin day or make the barge’s home port the Island. Or look to Sark or St Michael’s Mount both with similar problems, I’m sure we could find a few council volunteers for a summer fact finding mission to see how self help works? I just love these insights into what goes on in Argyll in our name – and no doubt these persons were paid handsomely for recommending further committee work – it’s self perpetuation and committee work at its very finest – they are all to be congratulated.
- McGrigor hits out at SNP government over RET removal
Keith – I do believe what you propose is called ethnic cleansing. It has been tried before in this region, and if I recall my history, from time to time met with considerable local resistance, civil disobedience, and armed insurrection – could be that your ideas and policy are a tad flawed and not fully developed – some unkind persons may even suggest cranky, or not there in the head, but who am I to judge. Suggest reading good history book for starters may be enlightening and keeping your vision for us all under wraps for the time being.
- Oban lifeboat in rescue of canoeist from Loch Leven – in silence from MCA on two major incidents
As a news service and blog should ForArgyll have again contacted the MCA and asked more searching questions of how MCA release news given that some of the searches were over the weekend. To my mind, most Corporate Communications departments would be running on a skeletal staff, and may have considered the mobilization of resources more important.
All of us should also recognize that we are dealing with probably a sad fatality. Therefore, it behoofs us all to take a step back, consider our comments in that light, and look at the resources which the MCA called in. In both incidents it would appear that considerable resources and efforts were involved, and perhaps to cast aspersions at the Coastguards activities and their lack of hot juicy tidbits for ForArgyll’s blogs on the day is wrong?
- Has Nauti-lass been swept away from Strachur?
Environmental concerns among citizens around the world have been falling since 2009 and have now reached twenty-year lows, according to a multi-country GlobeScan poll [see today's Google Doodle http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/22/earth-day-43rd-birthday-google-doodle ].
The findings are drawn from the GlobeScan Radar annual tracking poll of citizens across 22 countries. A total of 22,812 people were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone during the second half of 2012. Twelve of these countries have been regularly polled on environmental issues since 1992.
Asked how serious they consider each of six environmental problems to be—air pollution, water pollution, species loss, automobile emissions, fresh water shortages, and climate change—fewer people now consider them “very serious” than at any time since tracking began twenty years ago.
Climate change is the only exception, where concern was lower from 1998 to 2003 than it is now. Concern about air and water pollution, as well as biodiversity, is significantly below where it was even in the 1990s. Many of the sharpest falls have taken place in the past two years.
The perceived seriousness of climate change has fallen particularly sharply since the unsuccessful UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. Climate concern dropped first in industrialized countries, but this year’s figures show that concern has now fallen in major developing economies such as Brazil and China as well.
6,774 citizens across these 12 countries were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone on this question between July 3, 2012 and September 3, 2012. Polling was conducted by the international research consultancy GlobeScan and its partners in each country. In 4 of the 12 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 4.3 to 4.8 percent, 19 times out of 20.
Despite the steep fall in environmental concern over the past three years, majorities still consider most of these environmental problems to be “very serious,” Water pollution is viewed as the most serious environmental problem among those tested, rated by 58 percent as very serious. Climate change is rated second least serious out of the six, with one in two (49%) viewing it as “very serious.”
GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller comments: “Scientists report that evidence of environmental damage is stronger than ever—but our data shows that economic crisis and a lack of political leadership mean that the public are starting to tune out.
Those who care about mobilizing public opinion on the environment need to find new messages in order to reinvigorate a stalled debate.”
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