Comment posted Gourock-Dunoon ferry: the authoritative position by ferryman.
It is now 12:00 and that is the Argyll Ferry service suspended, to be reviewed at 15:00!
I have had a look at various websites and the wind does not seem to be more than about 20mph.
Neither of the current bathtubs are fit for the purpose of running a regular ferry service on the Firth of Clyde. As has been said all along larger vessels are needed.
What is your solution for this newsroom (aka soapbox). You were in favour of using the bathtubs for the Games, where do you stand now?
ferryman also commented
- Argyll ferries still seem to be off.
This is really farcical.
The weather is not so nice now, but its well within normal for this part of the world.
Had this been Games day it would have been a total disaster.
- Yes, it is bright and sunny weather we would be pleased to have for Cowal Games. But one of the bathtubs cannot cope with the breeze! If this happens at the Games the capacity on the route will have dropped by 50% compared with last year (more if the other bathtubs cannot run). Large numbers of people cannot simply make their way Western because they too are limited on how many passengers they can carry.
Maybe the weather will be good, maybe it will be bad, but this is a ridiculous gamble.
- The Observer showed a picture of people streaming of the Saturn for last year’s Cowal Games. The car deck and ramp look full and people are queuing to come down the stairs onto the car deck. There are a lot of brollies up.
Saturn carried around 500 passengers. The Clyde Clipper and the other bathtubs only carry about 250 people each. So this year the capacity on the route will have been reduced by 25% from 1000 to 750 passengers – assuming the bathtubs run ( with possible prosecutions in the offing that is a big assumption ).
The Saturn also had two substantial saloons as well as covered deck spaces. The bathtubs will be much more cramped if it raining.
This seems a very blikered approach, just looking at ferry costs in isolation and ignoring the risk to the Cowal Games.
Maybe the weather will be good this year, but this solution is going to come unstuck one year.
Decent sized ferries that can cope with the weather are needed on this route.
- Newsroom (aka soapbox) campaigned for a passenger only ferry service. We got one but the bathtubs are just not up to the job. Does Newsroom say sorry, I was wrong, nope. Instead it carries on almost seeming to argue that we don’t need a passenger only service, too much capacity etc. Any progress made by people arguing for larger vehicle ferries is met by slightly hysterical and inaccurate articles.
When a third bathtub is put on for Cowal Games newsroom unbelievably welcomes this!
When I posted the comment above I expected newsroom to respond with howls of protest abouts its editorial independence and journalistic integrity. Instead there was silence – perhaps newsroom did not read the comment?
So newsroom do you have sponsors, do you get grants from the Council? If you do have sponsors who are they?
- I don’t like incompetence. I disagree with a passenger only ferry but if they put one in in needs to be one that works.
Recent comments by ferryman
- Argyll Flyer in Ardmaleish boatyard
Will the current linkspan works be completed by Friday 21/June?
Working on the linkspan while the Argyll Flyer was having its recent scheduled maintenance would have made sense, but they did not do it.
Bring forward maintenance on the Argyll Flyer by a minimum of 6 months and more than likely 8-9 months seems odd.
Why are they not waiting till September to work on the Argyll Flyer. That is closer to when she is due her maintenance and I hear the Gourock linkspan will be out of action again then?
- Shetland Line remains in legal contention with Scottish Government on Northlink Ferries tender
Regarding the Dunoon Gourock ferry service one of the ‘needs and requirements’ the Scottish Government failed to specify was that the vessels employed could actually operate reliably in the weather on the Firth of Clyde.
How incompetent is that!
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
The Ali Cat was having technical problems whilst the Argyll Flyer was being maintained recently, resulting in periods of no service.
Following its maintenance the Argyll Flyer was indeed continuing to suffer technical problems.
The linkspan at Gourock is now being serviced with the result that the Argyll ferries is, once again running a reduced service. This happened right through the Dunoon Film Festival.
It is beyond belief that the Argyll Flyer maintenance and the repairs to the linkspan should not have been planned to run concurrently and without clashing with the Film Festival.
- Scottish Government forced to intervene on loose-mouthed Russell gaffe in Campbeltown
JimB asked “why does Dunoon not set out to attract day trippers?”
Dunoon would make an excellent destination for people from Glasgow seeking both Day Tripper and Weekend Breaks.
Why don’t they come though?
Well they certainly won’t drive the long way round, it is too far. There are plenty of other attractive destinations that are closer to home.
A relatively short drive and the pleasant experience of a ferry crossing to the town ought to be attractive, but then we hit the price barrier – £44.50 for a young family of 4 in a car.
Why would people pay that premium to come to Dunoon when they can go elsewhere?
The passenger only service is unattractive because of its unreliability.
What Dunoon needs is a truly competing vehicle ferry services.
- Reminder: Argyll Ferries on ‘refit’ service schedule
The scottish Government has failed to deliver on the transferable ferry tickets it was going to setup. The bus scheme is a bodge that adds anything upto two hours to travel time.
Any news on what they are going to do for Cowal Games or are they just going to try another gamble on the weather.
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