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If we had competition on ferry services across …

Comment posted A83 closed in both directions by ferryman.

If we had competition on ferry services across the Firth of Clyde then for a lot of people taking a vehicle ferry between Dunoon and Gourock might be a viable alternative option to the A83.

Currently of course this alternative route is a private monopoly.

You may wish to contrast the situation on crossing the Firth of Clyde with that on the Firth of Forth where literally billions are being spent on providing bridges which anybody will be able to cross free.

I do not think there is a sensible argument for bridges or tunnels on the firth of Clyde ( though at those prices why not ? ) but at least let us have some competition on ferry prices or restrict them to a reasonable level!

Look how much it costs for a family of tourists to make the crossing to Cowal. What does it cost for a commercial vehicle to cross? Should we not have a reliable, robust and fairly price transport system in the West of Scotland?

ferryman also commented

  • All is explained here;

    Colintraive-Rhubodach is described as a contender but when you take these factors into account Western is flagged as being the top;

    (a) Length of crossing: the shorter the crossing, the cheaper it should be.

    (b) Volume of traffic: the more traffic the service carries, the cheaper it should be.

    (c) Nature of service: the more basic the service, the cheaper it should be.

    The prices are a bit out of date, but so are traffic volumes which have increased (now a monopoly) and the service has not changed.

  • This is really quite interesting. The raod closure caused my family serious inconvenience yet there are hardly any post here. Does this mean ForArgyll is not really read or is serviced mainly, as seems to be the case, by an automaton?
  • I think this is quite interesting. This problem caused serious inconveince to my family yet there are hardly any postings here apart from an automaton. Does this mean that ForArgyll is really a complete fiction?
  • It matters because an eminent economist has argued that what is now a monopoly service is the most expensive ferry crossing in the world, making profits well in excess of industry norms.

    I did not mention RET. The Scottish Government should simply cap the profits at an acceptable level, I believe it is within their powers to do so.

    What is the justification for not doing that? They are spending billions on crossings of the Firth of Forth which will be free to use, yet to cross the Firth of Clyde you have to pay dues to a private company.

    The situation regarding tolls on the Skye bridge was deemed unacceptable, what is the difference here.

    The A83 is going to be in trouble for many years even once an emergency road is in place. Having access to a large part of Argyll controlled by a private company is not acceptable.

  • Sorry Robert you fail the Turing test.

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 ]

    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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