Also I just checked but, as an example, …

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

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?

ferryman also commented

  • 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?

  • What did they charge Blacks?
    What did they get “caught” for?

    I cannot really respond if you don’t give details.

  • 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)?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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 http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/files/documents/reports/j278759/j278759.pdf ]

    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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16 Responses to Also I just checked but, as an example, …

  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.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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