Absolutely. And the weather forecast for tonight and …

Comment posted A83: Hazard warnings back in place by newsroom.

Absolutely.
And the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow is not helpful.
We live with three negatives:
endessly checking and worrying if the road will be open in the morning/afternoon/night when you need to use it (where else do you have to do this?);
driving through that section on the Rest when the Wig Wag signs are on, knowing that ‘extreme caution’ can only mean ‘Don’t go’;
and feeling rhythms in Argyll slow and stall every time the road has to close.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    Thank you for your kind comments about the piece.
    I never know to whom comments refer – so to be clear, in what I said to defend For Argyll’s and my own very real independence of anything and anyone, I had not suggested in any way that Mr Black was a supporter of anything.
    I was – and am – concerned only at his assumption that For Argyll is different from what I know it to be.
  • Managed protest at Pacific Quay shames pro-indy campaign
    For Argyll editorialises as a matter of policy.
    With interactive media today, since any reader is free to comment [unedited] – and many do – a news platform is free to take a position and not contribute to a fraud on the public by pretending that there are two sides of equal weight on a specific issue, where this is not the case.
    Our positional judgments are made on the basis of evidence and not on the basis of preconception or bias.
    The powerful evidence for this is that we publicly supported potential independence for several years from 2007. The reasons why we have come to oppose it today are evidential and arise from serious independent researches of our own. These have shown us that the prospectus on which the country will vote on 18th September is incomplete and knowingly deceptive; that promises made cannot be fulfilled as the prospectus stands – and more are being made on a daily basis now [today's is that if you vote 'Yes', wages will go up]; and that controversial decisions planned to be taken [as on various aspects of taxation] have been suppressed until later for fear of losing votes.
    We have also become increasingly concerned at the degree and speed of implementation of a totalitarian political philosophy; and about the willingness to exert intimidation and deploy patronage to suppress criticism and resistance to this direction of travel. Ironically, this is the modus operandi indy is supposed to free us from.
    All that this indy would do is bring those instruments of manipulation even closer to home – and in the hands of a party of majority government now very experienced and skilled in using them. This is quite a frightening prospect.
    Economically and socially we can see nothing supportable arising from this prospectus or, now, from the party promoting it – so we do not support it.
    Personally, I have voted for the SNP in the past – and joined the party for several years – because it showed signs of an objective attempt actually to govern Scotland.
    I departed when it became progressively clear that principle had been discarded in favour of a obsessive will to gamble that the country will buy a false prospectus if it is bribed enough and emotionally manipulated enough.
    Personally, I prefer to hope that people will scrutinise, learn and think enough – but I do not discount disappointment on that hope.
    The methods used to conduct the campaign are below civility and simply insupportable – the bullying, the unachievable promises, the rank dishonesty, the sleight of hand statements to shore up decomposing positions.
    No one to whom honesty and straightforwardness matter could put their name to taking Scotland into an uncertain independence on the back of this prospectus and this campaign.
    I have learned to disrespect the SNP as a party – never a position I had imagined I would arrive at. Whatever the outcome in September, I will not vote for them again.
    Lynda
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    On a point of fact, it is not CalMac but CMAL [Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited - also state owned] which commissioned and owns the two hybrid ferries.
    We wouldn’t have spent the money this way. It had too high a degree of the ‘green vanity project’ about it and there have been a range of unforeseen issues about which little is known but which have cost more money than originally budgeted, over and above the usual overruns.
    But the boats are here, in service, with good manoeuverability.
    CalMac does not – contractually cannot – choose the boats it uses. That does not mean that the company would or would not have preferred anything else in this instance. We have no idea of that position.
    The issue is one of the accountability of government to the public whose taxes pay for the results of decisions which are not always made on the defensible criteria, with informed perspectives and with the overt purpose in mind – on projects with no serious pressure to manage to budget. It’s ‘other people’s money’.
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    There was a reason why MV Clyde Clipper and MV Cruiser displayed their seamanship in the very close quarters manoeuvre we reported after Clipper came out of her dock at Greenock.
    Clipper had run out of coffee and was being supplied from Cruiser.
  • The view from Lochinvar: party of the century from the Commonwealth Flotilla
    If I thought that was possible from the prospectus we’re voting on, I’d vote for it.

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16 Responses to Absolutely. And the weather forecast for tonight and …

  1. The Western Ferries crossing of the Firth of Clyde has been mentioned on the BBC as an alternative route.

    How long can the politicians leave in place a situation where an integral part of the transport network is run by a private monopoly with no control on profits?

    They don’t even have a published set of fares for commercial vehicles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • If you substituted ‘charges’ or ‘fares’ for ‘profits’ every time you complained about WF it’d look a bit less like your real gripe was against a company running a profitable business.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Not at all, I want them to make a profit – just not an excessive one. If you set the fare or charges they might make a loss, I don’t want that.

        They do though provide the only vehicle crossing of the Firth of Clyde. One that we can see is important, particularly when the A83 closes. Given all the fuss over tolls on the Skye Bridge (maximum charge £6?) why it acceptable to have a private company charging £20 for a short ferry crossing (billion pound Firth of Forth bridge crossings being free to use)?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Very few ferry companies, private or otherwise, make their rates for commercial vehicles public, and for very good reason. Just ask CalMac how much they used to charge Charlle Black for his empty bread wagons! Oh, that’s right, they got caught for that one, didn’t they?!!!

      At least Western Ferries run extra boats when the road is shut. The first time it was closed by a landslide, about 5 years ago if I recall correctly, what did CalMac do? HEE-HAW. And they had boats available to put on too.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Why would WF not publish their commercial ferry rates?

        You say they have good reason for doing so, does that mean if they were to publish them it might encourage competition, or that local people would be shocked at the costs added to goods and services reaching them?

        Maybe the charges are really low, so why not publish?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Also I just checked but, as an example, Brittany Ferries don’t charge commercial rates for vans unless they are over 6.5m but WF will charge commercial rates on a minibus (people) over 5m.

          I stuck details of a laden 7m van into a website and was quoted cross channel prices from DFS Seaways, P&O Ferries, the Channel Tunnel, Transmanche Ferries and TranEuropa. There were several more but I stopped once the cross channel price was twice what I have heard the cross Firth of Clyde price is.

          How much do WF ferries charge commercial vehicles and why don’t they publish?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Absolutely.
      And the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow is not helpful.
      We live with three negatives:
      endessly checking and worrying if the road will be open in the morning/afternoon/night when you need to use it (where else do you have to do this?);
      driving through that section on the Rest when the Wig Wag signs are on, knowing that ‘extreme caution’ can only mean ‘Don’t go’;
      and feeling rhythms in Argyll slow and stall every time the road has to close.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • You would have to do endless checking of weather forecasts if you want to get to work, college, hospital, the airport etc. using the passenger ferry service between Dunoon and Gourock which has bathtubs too small to cope with the weather.

        What is your problem newsroom, it is not like the A83 is the only road, surely people are spoilt for choice? Nobody has put an alternative in place so clearly there is no demand is there? Why not let a private company run the A83 and charge tolls, would you be against that if so why?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • I am sorry but people who use the Argyll Ferries service have to check how they are going to get to an from work on a daily basis.

            Newsroom seems to think that is unacceptable for a road, what is the difference. The solution for the ferries will cost a lot less than the eventual solution for the A83.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Ferryman: one of the problems – the weather – could disrupt the daily journey to work whatever sort of ferry service you have, so there’s something about your attitude that just doesn’t add up, because when people mention the idea of a tunnel (weatherproof) you immediately look for an excuse to pour scorn on them – you’re your own worst enemy.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • RW: the current ferries are too small to cope with the weather that is why people are unsure, even in summer, about getting to and from work.

          I pour scorn on people who just come up with vacuous ideas. You mention tunnels but have no idea whatsoever about costs, traffic volumes etc. We might just as well discuss using airships or Star Trek transporters.

          Why are you not suggesting tunnels to solve the A83 problem, they would be under the landslides?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • You’re right – a tunnel would solve the landslide problem, and the road would be less vulnerable to disruption by winter weather. However, until there’s greater clarity from Transport Scotland on what their surveys and studies lead them to recommend for fixing the problem there’s no point in talking about it, unlike your situation at Dunoon where no ferry would be immune to stormy weather, making a tunnel worth considering now, before large sums of money are committed to the ferry system.

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