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So, Ferryman, given this little treatise on the …

Comment posted Research reveals shock insights into reality of Dunoon ferry service provision by Robert Wakeham.

So, Ferryman, given this little treatise on the sometimes severe effects of consecutive ferry cancellations due to bad weather, why on earth do you rubbish anyone who raises the question of a tunnel?

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • ‘Trigger’ – I’ve no idea what deal there is between WF & McGill’s, but I dislike the lack of transparency on commercial vehicle pricing. You could try asking them. With regard to your point about concessionary fares, I get the impression that the government makes up the difference so I don’t think any of these are ‘loss leaders’ to McGill’s in the same way that any special offers would be. I do wonder if there’s a marine safety issue if bus passengers – maybe elderly or disabled – remain in the bus for the ferry journey, but this happens on other short ferry routes as well.
  • I’d heard about the station being improved at considerable expense, and this was one reason I wondered at the apparent uselessness of SPTE in coordinating passenger transport in the region – until someone explained that while they were responsible for the Gourock – Kilcreggan passenger ferry the trains had been ‘confiscated’ by Holyrood, and they had no say in the Dunoon ferry. So it looks as if Gourock is a lesson in transport mismanagement on the grand scale. If this is the best that a government aspiring to independence can do, it had better watch its back.
  • It raises all sorts of questions – such as have the streakers been sold yet? – but maybe, given this sudden command, people are waiting for more detail. I can see that it’s an attempt to allay the safety concerns, and maybe the private monopoly issue, but from my point of view it perpetuates the poor treatment of foot passengers at Gourock unless there’s a radical relocation of the station platform. That, and the provision of decent boats, would cost real money. I won’t mention passenger boarding arrangements because it makes Ferryman ‘tired & emotional’.
  • Neil: The comments on your website on the difference between an accountant and an economist analysing the cost / benefit implications of a transport system make me wonder if the Rest & Be Thankful landslide disruptions have been thoroughly assessed in terms of the real costs to the road users? Any comments would I’m sure be widely appreciated.
  • DunoonLad: Don’t tell anyone (especially ferryman, for the good of his health) but I worked out a plan to extend the Glasgow – Gourock line via Dunoon, Rothesay and Tignabruaich to Lochgilphead. Not cheap, admittedly, but a good job-creation scheme in hard times, and it would work wonders for connectivity, reducing journey times and providing a secure alternative mode of travel in the event of storms, floods and landslides. Perhaps surprisingly, the most expensive stretch to construct would likely be the stretch up the coast from Millhouse to Otter Ferry, through difficult terrain, rather than the undersea tunnels between Gourock and Tighnabruaich.
    My inspiration was Iain Banks’ detailed evocation of a more connected Argyll in ‘The Crow Road’. I bet this’ll get the thumbs down from you-know-who.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Scott Smith – you give the impression that you have advance knowledge of future vessel deployments, but you get your dates, boats and places jumbled up. Any chance you could clarify these, please?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    A movable mezzanine deck that can’t be repaired unless the ship is dry docked?
    Sounds a bit like a car that needs dismantling before the oil can be changed. I wonder if someone specified some really exotic features on that mezzanine deck that no commercial ship owner in their right mind would dream up in their worst nightmare – but which the ship builder was only too happy to install, if the price was right?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The comments on this particular thread (at least, those that are relevant and not just trying to make everything political) can be read as reflecting wider concerns, and it’s now being reported in the newspapers that the seriously inadequate response of Calmac when the Hebridean Isles had to be withdrawn from service for repairs in the middle of the summer tourist season is going to be reviewed at a meeting in Islay in October, reportedly to be hosted by our MSP, to hold Calmac, Transport Scotland and the Government to account.
    Hopefully they’ll have the sense to leave the bullshit on the mainland.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The BBC Scottish News website today has a lengthy item about Calmac’s trials and tribulations with the good ship Isle of Arran.
    However, it’s really only padding out the previously known facts as deemed suitable for release by Calmac, and leaves the details of the boat’s problems unexplained. It’s basically a case of ‘bear with us, there’ll be jam tomorrow’.
    Someone needs to spell out to the Calmac management – and our Holyrood politicians – that if you drive an old banger that wouldn’t pass its MOT and gave the police some feeble excuse about not being able to find spare parts you’d wind up in court.
    The BBC could at least have asked Calmac to explain what sort of problems were making the boat more susceptible to weather cancellations – and as to the Finlaggan running about with a broken mezzanine deck and the Heb Isles crashing into Kennacraig pier, maybe the BBC consider these matters to be unworthy of reporting, let alone investigation.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Quoting me out of context, NCH – but it’s nice to know that you read my despicable comments in the Herald, as well as enthusiastically scrutinising this, your favourite despicable blog. Chin up, don’t let your enemies get you down.

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