My previous post should have referred to early …

Comment posted Revised service schedule for Kilcreggan Ferry by Harry Cathcart.

My previous post should have referred to early morning commuters requiring to reach Glasgow before 9am. Also I omitted to state that the Piermaster is serving his redundancy notice!!

Harry Cathcart also commented

  • The spin given by Clydelink regarding the need for the new timetable is rich when it suggests that the use of four ropes will be forced on ALL operators shortly by MCA. Who are we talking about(?) surely not Argyll Ferries and Western Ferries! The reality is that the Island Princess has been found wanting hence the safety edict from MCA.
  • The “new” timetable means that all students or workers with the reasonable requirement to reach Glasgow before now need to catch the 07.12 sailing and then wait 23 minutes in Gourock station before boarding the 07.47 train. For over 30 years commuters were able to catch the 07.48 ferry and then catch the 08.08 train.

    In the evening the last train is now 17.05 which makes commuting by ferry and train impossible.

    All of this whatever the operator may aver relates to the unsuitability of the Island Princess to serve our community allied to the decision of Argyll Bute Council to make the Kilcreggan Piermaster.

    The inevitable outcome of all of this will be a lack of passengers which will in due course allow officials to declare that the route is no longer viable when the irrefutable evidence is that the SPT decision was based purely on the lowest tender rather that ensuring an outcome beneficial to the communities in Inverclyde and Argyll and Bute requiring a safe and reliable service.

Recent comments by Harry Cathcart

  • Landowners’ failure to sign off on community wind farm brings disappointment to Rosneath peninsula west
    To accuse two highly respected local farmers of leaving the Development Trust in the lurch by selling on their land once planning consent has been granted following a successful outcome at the Hearing due on the 17th September is deplorable, particularly when any fair minded person has read their Statement.

    As late as 13th May 2013 the Trust spent our money incorporating Cove Wind Farm Limited and for what purpose!! Ironically Is it not conceivable that the Trust could be contemplating selling on the asset if they are aware that 100% funding cannot be secured, hence the need for the leases to be signed ahead of the Hearing.

  • One real issue and some strange arguments against Cove Community Wind Farm
    Too much emotion so far. Reasonable questions not answered by the development trust are:-
    1 where is the finance to be found to pay for 100% of the huge cost
    2 what interest rate is included in the financial appraisal
    3 what contingency is included for increased costs which will be likely based on inflation increases which were 2.6% in 2012 (5’6% 2011), the weakness of the pound e.g. impacting on purchase price of turbines mainly built in Denmark , and likely general cost overruns in a venture of this size
    4 is it realistic to expect the development to be completed by the crucial April 1 2014 date after which revenue take will implode
    Worth mentioning that the development trust ( Murdo McDonald) has in the past wrongly taken credit for the takeover of the Cove Burgh Hall and Library as part of its campaign to reinforce its validity!
  • Jackie Baillie MSP calls on SPT to ‘get a grip’ on Kilcreggan ferry situation
    SPT has chosen to accept the operator’s version rather than that of the passengers. Presumably the pier master who is working out his extended notice will have witnessed this and sent in a report. Perhaps For Argyll can contact the council to ascertain what was in his report and if it corroborates the version given by the passengers ask what action the authority has taken to lodge a complaint with SPT and also to make the MCA aware of it’s concern for the safety of passengers. If no action is contemplated one can then ask the reason behind retaining the pier master for an extended period when the operator is not being charged the normal landing dues!
  • Kilcreggan Ferry: Inverclyde Now reports ‘new’ boat may not be ready by 1st April
    The Island Princess was built in 1996 i.e. 16 years ago! It only has space in the cabin for between 35 to 40 passengers which leaves Coulport/Faslane commuters fighting for cover!! The contract was placed with Clydelink on an undertaking to provide accommodation in a “new” vessel for 60 passengers. In a Q and A from SPT this is stated to be in a thermostatically controlled heated passenger cabin with fare collection therein rather than on deck. This boat as can be seen from its picture has none of those features and is 23 feet shorter than the Seabus!!
  • Who’s the April fool? SPT propose another £96k for Clydelink on the Kilcreggan-Gourock ferry contract
    The Island Princess based in Lymington where it does summer trips is our “new” vessel!! Look up Puffin Cruises Lymington.

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13 Responses to My previous post should have referred to early …

  1. The “new” timetable means that all students or workers with the reasonable requirement to reach Glasgow before now need to catch the 07.12 sailing and then wait 23 minutes in Gourock station before boarding the 07.47 train. For over 30 years commuters were able to catch the 07.48 ferry and then catch the 08.08 train.

    In the evening the last train is now 17.05 which makes commuting by ferry and train impossible.

    All of this whatever the operator may aver relates to the unsuitability of the Island Princess to serve our community allied to the decision of Argyll Bute Council to make the Kilcreggan Piermaster.

    The inevitable outcome of all of this will be a lack of passengers which will in due course allow officials to declare that the route is no longer viable when the irrefutable evidence is that the SPT decision was based purely on the lowest tender rather that ensuring an outcome beneficial to the communities in Inverclyde and Argyll and Bute requiring a safe and reliable service.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • This lack of coordination between ferry and train services is absolutely shameful.
      As the government apparently took control of the train service out of SPTE’s hands, presumably there’s great scope for finger-pointing, but surely the buck stops with Holyrood?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. My previous post should have referred to early morning commuters requiring to reach Glasgow before 9am. Also I omitted to state that the Piermaster is serving his redundancy notice!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. The spin given by Clydelink regarding the need for the new timetable is rich when it suggests that the use of four ropes will be forced on ALL operators shortly by MCA. Who are we talking about(?) surely not Argyll Ferries and Western Ferries! The reality is that the Island Princess has been found wanting hence the safety edict from MCA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Absolutely Harry. The more likely ‘truth’ is that because of failure to operate safely in line with MCA guidelines, Clydelink have been fored to operate thisway to ensure safety of the travelling public.

      What will it take for SPT to terminate this contract? Will it take an accident, injury or worse?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. I am utterly astounded at the proposed removal of the very vital 8.20am sailing which has served, not only those who commute to the college, but many others who have always taken this sailing to catch the 8.36am train at Gourock. Why on earth have Clydelink not prioritized the commuter periods, which after all, carry the most passengers. How much extra time does this 4 rope carry-on add to berthing time anyway, and is it REALLY so necessary to cut our service like this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. There needs to be more co-ordinate action between the Kilcreggan Gourock and Dunoon Gourock ferry users, along with those whose routes that are soon to be put out to tender.

    The Dunoon route seemed designed to fail and it looks like a similar fate was planned for Kilcreggan. Totally inadequate arrangements have been made in both cases. Why is the Transport Minister not looking at the transport network as a whole rather than going for least cost on individual ferry routes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Have people who use the Kilcreggan ferry organised in any way?

      In Dunoon the Community Council called a public meeting and from that an action group was formed.

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  6. i skippered the island princess between lymington and the isle of wight for many years as a regular ferry service across a stretch of water that is a higher catagory than she is on now and im sure far more challenging, we ran from a pier and were always on time, she was a good reliable boat that always kept to time! we also just used to use two ropes as its all that is required, and its all that most operaters use, this has always been fine but can you imagine how catastophic it would be if one snapped whilst unloading, it would not be worth thinking about! i think its great that the mca are requesting operaters to use four ropes.
    if a rope did snap whilst one of your friends, collegues, or yourself was boarding you would all have alot to say about how “unsafe” the island princess is. poor clydelink can never win seems a tad unfair

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    • There was an incident at Dunoon some years back when the AliCat was first introduced on the Dunoon route. A rope was said to have snapped when people were disembarking. If I remember rightly a woman said that if she had taken her child off first, in a buggy, they would have been killed as the boat crashed into the pier.

      The incident got raised in questions in the House of Commons and the Council placed restrictions on AliCat’s use.

      Why somebody though it would be a good idea to try to run the current frequent service with her beats me.

      Good luck with your service, I think we are all going to need some.

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