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

  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    About 20 months ago, Alastair Darling who was Chancellor at the time of the major period of meltdown in the financial sector in the Autumn of 2008 gave this first hand insight on his experience of the recapitalisation of RBS: ‘All I can tell you is that, on the night of 7 [October] 2008, no one at all anywhere in the world rushed to chip in to bail out RBS, despite the fact that it had a very large trading arm in the United States and many of the losses that it made were there.
    ‘Obviously the US Fed was immensely helpful in terms of liquidity support and tiding over;it kept RBS going for a whole afternoon when it got into trouble on that Tuesday.
    ‘When it came to recapitalisation, though — I think that the recapitalisation figure is about 30 percent of Scottish GDP — there was no one queuing up to do it. As Mervyn King said, these banks are global in life but national in death.’
  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    Banking is one of those very many things where size matters.
    And in parochialism, size matters too in determining degree.
    America can be and is ‘parochial’ in many ways but within its own borders its scale and diversity is vast in every way.
  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    This highlights the reality that trying to identify aspects of other societies that interest and attract some of us as potential models for Scotland can only fail.
    It’s not about the ideas and the strategies. It’s about the societal and fiscal contexts in which they would be put to work – with the context of every society developing over long periods of time and not susceptible, as you say, to sudden philosophical, political and operational changes of direction.
  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    Apart from your usual willful failure, in your own partisan interests, to address the complex realities of this situation and instead to throw up misdirecting smokescreening, from what you say here you will obviously see the inevitable post-indy departure of the RBS HQ as good riddance.
    That is hardly the stance of the ‘side’ for which you perpetually campaign.
    We have sympathy with your distaste for bankers and ‘the club’ but, like bacteria, they and their banks are necessary to the uninterrupted running of our national financial system.
  • Indy, the banks and the Scottish economy
    If you read the argument, we have said that the consequence of an independent Scotland that could only cover threatened Scottish assets of an RBS headquartered in Scotland [which is all that it would be required to do] would lead to one of two undesirable outcomes.
    It could produce an RBS still headquartered here but that could operate with assured stability only within a Scottish market; and therefore became a parochial rather than an international bank.
    It could produce an RBS with no interest in major downscaling of its activities and that would protect its preferred scale of operation by migrating its HQ south across the border.
    For a country without a Central Bank and therefore with no lender of last resort, there is no third way here.
    Both of these outcomes would have negative impacts on Scotland and neither could be positive.

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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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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)?

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    • 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.

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      • 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?

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        • 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?

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    • 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?

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          • 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.

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          • 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.

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        • 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?

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          • 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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