Argyll Ferries geared up to carry 700 pasengers an hour to Dunoon’s Cowal Games

More than 700 passengers an hour will be able to travel to the Cowal Games during peak times, because of the additional capacity being laid on by Argyll Ferries.

The company run the passenger ferry shuttle service of 60 sailings a day between the rail head from Glasgow at Gourock and Dunoon in the Cowal peninsula, where the celebrated Cowal Gathering takes place.

Argyll Ferries will operate a normal timetable all day on Friday 24th August and up to 11.30 hrs on Saturday 25th August.

At this point the MV Clyde Clipper will join MC Argyll Flyer and MV Ali Cat to provide a three vessel service for the remainder of the day.

An Argyll Ferries spokesperson says: ‘We are delighted to be able to bring in the MV Clyde Clipper to meet the demand on what is our busiest day of the year. The combined capacity of the three vessels is well in excess of 700, ensuring that no-one will have to wait too long in either direction.

We are aware of local speculation around the possible deployment of the MV Coruisk which is currently operating between Mallaig and Armadale. This was ruled out, not just because she has her own route to serve but because the MV Clyde Clipper’s capacity is virtually the same and will allow much quicker turnarounds which are vital on such a busy day.’

Argyll Ferries are encouraging travellers to come early if they can to beat the rush. They are also reminding anyone travelling to Gourock by rail that a joint rail/ferry ticket, which is cheaper,  is available from stations.

The last sailing will be from Dunoon at 23.00hrs. The late night sailings timetabled for Saturday have been cancelled to allow the ferries to operate constantly throughout the day. Sunday 26th August will have the normal timetable for that day.

What Dunoon and the Cowal Games  now need to see is  those 700 passengers an hour trooping up the slipway and heading for the biggest party of the year.

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18 Responses to Argyll Ferries geared up to carry 700 pasengers an hour to Dunoon’s Cowal Games

  1. Ferry off this afternoon, so transported by bus from Gourock Station to Western Ferries.
    Good you may think, but then when giving my return ticket to WF told I had to pay again as WF did not, even in this circumstance, accept Argyll Ferries return ticket.
    So have paid Argyll Ferries for journey which they were unable to provide. Can I claim for reimbusement?
    No way this service and these boats can be relied upon, I fear for Cowal Games.

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  2. To cover 700 passengers every hour it would require 20 minute crossings…a tough challenge given that it will take some time to get 230 passengers off in single file never mind the passengers who will leave Dunoon.
    Collecting 200 plus tickets may take longer than the 20 minute journey!
    If raining… think of the passengers after number 125 who will be upstairs out in the open for the duration of each crossing. They should not be charged.
    Imagine taking a 20-25 minute journey standing on a bus or train with no roof!
    Hopefully the wind and rain will not prevail on Cowal Games week as many visitng passengers will not come back.

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  3. Last year the capacity was 1000 people per hour, so we are seeing a 25% reduction even if all the bathtubs run.

    Important though capacity is the main thing last year was that there was one vessel on the route, the MV Saturn, that could be depended on to run. This year there are going to be three bathtubs and they could all be off. Just as we have seen the service cancelled for most of today in perfectly normal weather for the season.

    Newsroom (aka soapbox) you seem to be on quite an extended campaign about passenger ferries. You have not answered the question about whether or not ForArgyll has sponsors and, if it does, who they are?

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    • I think it is fairly obvious who the sponsors are judging by the support they are given on this propaganda drivel masquerading as news.

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    • And the A83 was open and not seen to be dangerous due to frequent landslip and rock fall which has happened more often this year than in the past 60 years. I hope we can sue Transport Scotland and AF for any shortfall in takings for this years games and spend in the town if the ferry service fails to deliver.

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  4. This is completely inadequate, Ferryman is right, its down on last year. 7oo per hour sounds ok over the day but the morning and evening periods will be really pressure. I remember the days when the two car ferries, the Waverley and the Glen Sannox struggled to keep up, I know these days are gone but with pipe band competitions delayed last year to allow bandsmen to get across this reduction in capacity doesnt bode well. People in Dunoon are calling for the Cheif Exec of Calmac to get his jotters because of the contempt he is showing our community not to mention the safety issues which despite For Argyll getting the wrong point on the issue now looks like will be a resigning issue.
    Concern is now mounting for the MOD and whether Cal mac as a major partner will scupper the event with their incompetence, or will the CEO get the bullet before that embarrasment descends, one bad MOD could lose the event to Argyll for many years to come, remember, its bidding time again.

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  5. Newsroom (aka soapbox) is forArgyll a company or run by or for a company?

    Does for argyll get sponshorship, if so who are your sponsors?

    The blog has no subscription and does not carry many adverts. There is nothing wrong with sponsors, the bills have to be paid, but who are they?

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  6. The police are saying 23,000 visit for the games.
    http://www.strathclyde.police.uk/whats_happening/events/2012/august/cowal_highland_gathering_dunoon/

    Argyll Ferries say they can carry 700 people/hour – if they can run. Western have 4 ferries that can carry about 250 people each so say 1000 people/hour.

    That gives a total capacity of 1700/people per hour.
    23,000/1,700=13.5 so running flat out with every boat running and full it would take 13.5 hours to shift every body.

    Now people don’t all come by ferry. However a lot of people do just come on the ferry on Saturday arriving in the morning and departing in the evening meaning there are big peaks. We have all seen it, even when the streakers were running, queues right along the pier and onto the road. The bathtubs have reduced the capacity, which might be an issue in itself, but if they fail to sail it is going to be a really big issue.

    As for those who come by road, well lets hope the A83 is open!

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      • Ah newsroom (aka soapbox), so you do read the posts.
        Why the silence on the questions above that have already been asked several times, here they are again;

        Is forArgyll a company or run by or for a company?

        Does forArgyll get sponshorship, if so who are your sponsors?

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    • Yes but how many actually use the ferries. That number, if it is right, will include locals and visitors over the whole period which is more than just the Saturday.

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      • The police seem to be talking about visitors, not locals. If they don’t use the ferries then a lot of them will be using the A83 which has its own issues.

        You are correct, the figures are very crude averages and people will be coming over the games period. However there are enormous peaks on the Saturday when people come over for the day then seek to return in the evening.

        If the reduced capacity of the bathtubs cannot cope with the peaks people are going to get fed up with queues and may not come back in future.

        If the bathtubs are off you are into a whole new ballgame because you cannot simply bus people along to WF and squeeze them on. WF have to stick by the limits on their Passenger Certificates. In that situation people either will not get to the games or they will not get home.

        WF could put extra runs on into the wee small hours to clear the backlog. However don’t forget WF really have no onshore passenger facilities and the weather will be poor because that is why the bathtubs will be off.

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    • Do ALL 23,000 people arrive and leave on the one day? From what I have seen in the past they will arrived throughout the week leading up to the games, and leave between the Saturday night and Monday night.

      Incidentally, your capacity figure for Western is well out. All four boats can carry 220 each, but if they provide a shuttle service (as they do at busy times), they will give six crossings an hour. 220 x 6 = 1320.

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      • No of course they people don’t arrive all on one day. That is why Newsrooms capacity analysis is so stupid.

        On Games Friday there will be a massive backlog of cars at MacInroy’s Point, it will overflow the carpark and and go far back along the street. Newsroom if you wish to refute this take a photograph at 17:00 on the games Friday.

        On the Saturday masses of people did (pehaps not now) arrive on the passenger boats for the day (see photograph in Cowal Courier of last year). This year Argyll Ferries are suggesting that people come early so that they can get on a boat (that is even if the weather is good).

        Now not only do we have a restriction on vehicle numbers but we have also reduced foot passenger capacity (even if the weather is good) and on top of that a cut back on sailing hours.

        Bravo, well done, welcome to Dunoon .

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  7. Is it true that certain businesses are set to sue the government if the bathtubs don’t sail on the weekend? Some Really rely on the extra traffic on games weekend, and would lose a massive income if, due to incompetence by the government, they did not step in and making sure that the service they have provided, is fit for purpose! Watch this space.

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  8. Weather for Cowal Games Saturday…at the moment
    BBC… Heavy rain showers with wind at 13mph
    10 Day Forecast…Chance of precipitation(rain) 60% with the wind East North East at 16 kmph.
    Lets hope forecast is not accurate in a weeks time!

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