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I believe it was in the region of …

Comment posted MCA serves Argyll Ferries with improvement notice by donald mcdonald.

I believe it was in the region of £500k, but this has to be compared to the £7.5m spent on Dunoon, which unlike their terminals has never been used once for a vehcile service.

donald mcdonald also commented

  • Brian Souter was approached a few years ago by Neil Kay and he has a keen nose for commerical transport opportunities. He did not even submit a response to the recent tender when there was government money on the table.
  • “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 service can be done on a non-subsidised basis’.
    Western Ferries have been doing just that for thirty years.
    I rest my case.”

    Childish insults…… used to do that every week in the Standard. And given the time, I could correct the spelling but you will always be stuck with the same misconception.

    I was only pointing out that if you say “almost certainly” this cannot be a statement of fact, unless you are stating that the conditional element of your statements are factual. I will leave it to you to enlighten us.

    “Which if run on an unrestricted basis will almost certainly have no negative impact on the public purse”. The only way to know that, for a fact, is if you have the projected costs and revenues associated with providing the service, including the lease charges. You don’t have these, so therefore there is no evidence to back up your assertion. Therefore I stand by my original assessment of your opinion.

    Provide the evidence in relation to two new car and passenger figures, including capital/lease costs, operating costs and projected revenues which shows that there will be “no negative impact on the public purse” and I will apologise.

    Using Western Ferries as proof is not persuasive when there are fundamental differences between the two routes, harbour dues, fuel consumption, staffing levels, maintenance etc. Also Western uses its own money to invest in new tonnage and not taxpayers. Using your argument, all clothes shops shop just be as profitable as Marks. And one butchers shop should just be as profitable as the one across the road.

    If you think that the state is in a position to hand over, gratis, two new ferries and that it is legal to provide additional subsidy, over and above what has been allocated to provide a passenger only service. Then I suggest that you look outside the window as you are obviously no longer in Kansas.

  • Alex Neil, is reviewing the situation to give himself more time. The ferry review has been going on since 2008, here we are 4 years later and nothing. If he, Mike Russell and Jim Mather wanted to do something about it, then why didn’t/haven’t they done something. They did a study in 1998, 14 years later still nothing.

    Remember Jim Mather made “promises”, the SNP made the tender and Alex Salmond has made “wishes”. But yet nothing.

    Can’t you see how this is going to end.

  • Any additional subsidy required over £1.75m to provide a vehicle service would be subsidising the vehcile service. A vehcile service would generate additional costs as well as revenue and the costs would exceed the revenue.
  • If you take the Streaker, all the costs associated with running it, staff, fuel, maintenance, insurance ship dues etc. were matched against the passenger revenue, hence the loss and the need for subsidy. The only costs matched against the vehicle income were the harbour dues payable on the vehicles and any other additional costs associated with the vehicle element, hence the profit. If the total costs of running the Streaker were split equitably between passenger and vehicle revenues there would have been a loss on the vehicle side as well. But Cowal Ferries could not show that as it would mean that they were subsidising the vehicle element.

    The last set of accounts for Cowal Ferries showed a surplus of £200,000. Therefore if it was not for the vehicle element, it would have cost the taxpayer an additional £200,000k to provide the passenger service using the Streaker. The fact is that the current service now costs the taxpayer only £1.75m per year as opposed to £3.2m. Which proves that is cheaper for all us taxpayers to provide a passenger service with a passenger vessel.

    Expect any introduction of two new passenger and car ferries to vastly increase the cost the taxpayer but if the true costs of providing the vehicle service are hidden in the passenger service, taking cars will reduce the subsidy. Unfortunately for those wanting to see a new vehicle service, the 2009 EU report requires a robust accounting reporting system which will prevent any repetition of what went on in the past.

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