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‘Widely accepted’? ‘By whom’? ‘Observed’? By whom? This is a lousy service …

Comment posted MCA serves Argyll Ferries with improvement notice by bill jardine.

‘Widely accepted’?
‘By whom’?
By whom?
This is a lousy service by any measure, and that’s been widely observed and accepted.
If that represents ‘a negative view of public passenger transport’, then I suggest that there might be the slightest hint of justification for it.
There are two options available.
A passenger only service ‘fit for purpose’ which will require larger and more seaworthy boats to do the job, and which will almost certainly require a higher operating subsidy.
A passenger-vehicle service – for which the linkspan at Dunoon was constructed in the first place – which, if run on an unrestricted basis will almost certainly have no negative impact on the public purse.
That’s not a negative view, it’s a statement of fact.

bill jardine also commented

  • Since you chose to personalise the debate with childish insults,then it’s valid to point out that if my views are indeed mince, they match your spelling standards.
    ‘Only then will you be able to state as a fact that providing a vehicle servicecan be done on a non-subsidised basis’.
    Western Ferries have been doing just that for thirty years.
    I rest my case.
  • This issue was raised by a retired master mariner and former Calmac Marine Superintendent.
    Unlike FA he has extensive knowledge gained from practical experience.
    Unlike FA, he knows what he is talking about.
    The highly partisan, not to mention patronising, approach taken by FA on this issue does it little credit.
    Nor does it benefit from presenting its highly coloured opinions as facts.
    For instance: ” This (the Calmac service) became unsustainable financially, in European Law and in competition law.”
    There is nothing in European law to prevent an unsubsidised vehicle service.
    This has been proven, and has been common knowledge for some time. Why do you persist in saying the opposite?
    Equally, the Calmac was rendered unsustainable because of the restrictions placed upon the service. (not to mention some of the bizarre operational practices of the company on the route, such as abolishing onboard ticketing on so-called ‘security grounds’).
    As I understand it, the vehicle-carrying part of the service actually made a profit.
    It absolutely does not follow that it would be impossible to run profitably two competing vehicle/passenger services betwen Cowal and Gourock.
    On what evidence do you base your contemptuous dismissal of this?
    What is clear is that any passenger-only service will require the taxpayer to bail it out for evermore, and larger and more seaworthy passenger ships can only increase the pain on the taxpayer.
    A bit of grown-up reporting on this wouldn’t go amiss.

Recent comments by bill jardine

  • Pilots concerned on wind farm generated air turbulence
    “you really do seem to believe you speak with great authority, and when others pick holes in what you’e said you sometimes resort to the sort of rudeness that’s really rather childish”.
    My God – talk about pots and kettles!!!!
  • Possible weather disruption to Gourock ferry services 14th and 15th June
    I’M obsessed with the past?
    The boarding facilities of forty-year-old ferries may well be worthy of comment, but have as much relevance to this debate as the access provision for elephants on Noah’s Ark.
    Have you been reading your posts before you put them online?
    Do you read the posts – or more to the point grasp the content – of others before you accuse them of being ignorant, intolerant or stupid?
    Has it occurred to you that the very personality defects you attribute to those who disagree with you might more accurately be applied to you?
    You seem to think you are the only person who’s ever sailed on a ship or ferry beyond the Clyde.
    I’ve been on one or two myself – in the USA, Germany, France and extensively in the Greek islands, not to mention the English Channel and the Northern Isles – but just because I’ve sailed on them doesn’t make me an expert or give me the the right to an opinion which is any more valid than the next person.
    You persistently miss the point – I suspect deliberately.
    It’s simple.
    Passenger-only ferries do not make money. Vehicle carrying vessels do.
    Combine the two and you will at least lower the cost to the taxpayer of operating the ship.
    The provision of larger more sea-friendly passenger ferries, whether they come alongside jetties, pontoons or the dark side of the moon, will inevitably cost the taxpayer more money – and that’s an inescapable fact.
  • Possible weather disruption to Gourock ferry services 14th and 15th June
    I was determined not to get involved in ferry debate sgain, but find Robert Wakeham’s self-important pronouncements increasingly tiresome and irrelevant.
    And the fact that he seems to be getting more thumbs down than a duff gladiator indicates that I am not alone.
    The nub of the problem is not lack of pontoons or the boarding facilities of vessels built forty years ago, a subject which appears to obsess Mr Wakeham; the problem is that the ships provided for the route are patently incapable of performing the task.
    Ferryman is absolutely right about the Maids. They were fine wee ships and good seaboats, but they were passenger-only vessels, and had a short lifespan on the Clyde because they were rendered uneconomic by the rapid growth of car ownership. The longest serving of them, the Maid of Cumbrae, only survived because she was converted into a car ferry and in that role was much more versatile.
    It’s also worth pointing out that Calmac couldn’t even make a tiddler like the Keppel pay her way.
    So it stands to reason that a larger passenger-only vessel on the Dunoon-Gourock route is only going to place an even greater burden on the taxpayer.
  • The Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant
    “Sycophantic Drivel”.
    And there’s been no shortage of that commodity in the media over the last few weeks, has there?
    I’m instinctively a republican, but it’s an inescapable fact that the queen has performed her role faultlessly for years.
    But her jubilee masks the fact that she is pretty much one of a kind, and is on the throne simply because her uncle didn’t want the job.
    And her successor can hardly be described in the same glowing terms as his mother – although there seems to be a concerted effort of late to have his spouse accepted as Queen Camilla when he becomes king.
    Will that accession be greeted with the same enthusiasm as the current event?
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    And lets not forget the Lords Archer,Taylor and Watson, ennobled for reasons beyond public understanding,whose titles remain intact despite criminal convictions.
    Compare that with the little old lady who spends years working in a charity shop for nothing and gets an MBE as a reward for her efforts.
    It makes rather a mockery of the notion that we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns, does it not?
  • Argyll Ferries releases performance stats for May 2012
    “Why not some deep analysis newsroom?”
    Good question, Ferryman.
    Isn’t it rather odd that this particular piece of news has been spared For Argyll’s forensic dissection?
    Where’s the usual caustic comments about twisting the facts to suit the argument?
    Is the soapbox suffering from an attack of dry rot?

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