Comment posted Western Ferries signs contract with Cammell Laird for new Dunoon-Gourock ferries by Robert Wakeham.
There seems to be a political sickness on the lower Clyde that is responsible for a lot more than just the Dunoon – Gourock ferry saga.
The very poor performance of the SPTE is one symptom, and the apparent muddle over how to organise publicly funded ferry services, with the Scottish and European authorities trying to navigate their way through a legislative minefield is another symptom. Fragmented responsibility for landing facilities just adds to the problem, as does the apparent inability to provide easy transfer between passenger rail and ferry services at Gourock. Will all this ever be resolved unless there’s a really effective passenger transport authority for the area? Who else but the Holyrood government can take the initiative (and show that they really can govern)?
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Not arrogance – just astonishment that you’d wish to defend such a poor arrangement, and I wonder if the boarding system for the current ferries is any easier? ‘Struggling’ could well be right.
- Ferryman: If you think that my criticism of the boarding arrangements to the streaker service is ‘some kind of fetish’ you’ve no real idea of what a decent passenger ferry should be like. You’re right that I wasn’t a regular user of the service, and for that I’m very thankful. If you were – as a passenger – it beggars belief that you’re so ignorant of just how bad the boarding facilities were by any reasonable current-day standards.
- Calmac was shackled by having primitive boats, from a passenger point of view – and although the cafe was a nice feature (but not really necessary for such a short run, while undoubtedly helping to make the passenger service uneconomic) the boarding arrangements were astonishingly bad, compounded by a steep exposed stair down from the upper deck to the lounge. I wasn’t a regular user of this service, and it seemed to me that the boats – however seaworthy – were nowhere near the quality of what passengers could reasonably expect. (and don’t get me started on the dismal facilities at Gourock for passengers transferring between boat and train)
- Ferryman, I think that there very clearly is a ‘minefield of legislation’. The sheer laboriousness and cost (in money, time, and damage to the ongoing provision of fit for purpose ferry links) of the processes involved by the Holyrood governments over recent years in their attempts to reconcile the operation of the publicly owned and managed ferry system with European competition rules point to this. There’s a risk of being so fixated on the Dunoon – Gourock saga, which has been hamstrung by the historic failure of the traditional route to change to match demand, that the bigger picture is being missed. You don’t mention SPT; count yourself fortunate if you don’t live on the Rosneath peninsula, and if you look further afield there are clearly huge potential disadvantages in ‘balkanising’ the Calmac routes, whatever the advantages of introducing private initiative – and ‘cherrypicking’ remains another obvious problem.
- Ferryman, why didn’t you address this in the ‘other post’? Changing the subject is not replying to DunoonLad’s comment.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- Problems with both pro-indy and pro-union campaigns
I think you’re insulting Anne Baird.
- Cumberland Avenue Helensburgh 8.30am this morning – in go council contractors under police escort
Good news – but it’s unthinkable that the council won’t recover its costs (in full, including existing and future legal costs) from the ‘developers’.
- Patricia Ferguson asks about those evacuated during Red Road Flats blow-down for Games ceremony
More than an ‘interesting story’, richard, sounds to me like a cry from the heart – and fits in with my impression of Glasgow, in terms of the City Council – all fur coat and no knickers would be putting it ever so politely.
If you don’t believe me, next time you’re in town have a good look at the state of disrepair of the pavements, even in busy areas of the city centre (for example, Hope Street between Central Station and Sauchiehall Street, maladministered by Glasgow City highways Department.
Take a seat at one of the pavement cafes on the north side of Royal Exchange Square, and have a good look at the state of gross disrepair of the carved stonework on the cornices of the old Royal Exchange (now the Museum of Modern Art, maladministered by Glasgow Council Museums Department)
Walk from Buchanan Bus Station along Cathedral Street to the Royal Infirmary, and find your way repeatedly blocked by massive advertising panels like giant tombstones, set at right angles to the street bang in the middle of the pavement, where they cause the maximum obstruction (maladministered presumably by Glasgow City Highways Department, probably to someone’s enrichment)
I propose that these things are blown up, as a service to the common people. But the Glasgow city councillors would’t know about the common people, would they (outside election time)?
- Tobermory Lifeboat: 17 hour shout in 180 mile rescue of cargo boat drifting south of Tiree
I wonder if perhaps the tow parted, and Balder Viking is now just escorting – Wilson Gdynia is fishtailing, whereas the tug is on a straight course.
- Going well: Western and Northern Isles’ three days of serious talks in London on devolution
Darliata? – get an education, H20.
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