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“The ferry problem is no worse than any …

Comment posted Argyll Ferries’ performance statistics for August 2012 by ferryman.

“The ferry problem is no worse than any other similar car queuing problems!”

When the streaker service was in operation people could head for either car ferry and expect to get on it. Now, because of lack of peak capacity, people have to aim one or even two ferries earlier than before.

That is a considerable burden if you have to do it day in day out to get to work.

Commuters attempting to use the bus service do suffer because of the buses not getting on. The fact that it will get on the next ferry still means people are late for work. You cannot expect employers to be interested in a bus not getting on a ferry.

The same goes with the Argyll Ferries service. It is far too unreliable and it causes people real problems.

This needs to be fixed as it will seriously damage the local economy. There is no point burying heads in the sand and pretending everything is fine, it is not.

ferryman also commented

  • The only time I have ever been stuck on the other side is since the introduction of the new service, it was not the weekend of the concert.

    On Friday 15/June I went from Argyll Ferries to Western Ferries by taxi (no sign of a courtesy bus). When I arrived at Western all 10 lanes were full, buses, and cars. There had probably been a queue onto the road as there was a ferry filling when I got there. I wondered what was going on as did not think Western had been off, the weather being not too bad, I question if there really were 40mph winds as Argyll Ferries claim. That is when I found out there was a Primal Scream concert being held in Dunoon on the Saturday. When I got to Hunter’s Quay there was a welcome courtesy bus, the action group pushed for those. The Argyll Ferries service remained disrupted and cancelled through the Saturday.

    Why was more fuss not made of it in the media, good qustion – you tell me.

    I am told that queues onto the road at McInroy’s point are actually not an uncommon occurance now.
    I also believe that people who do try to commute by the bus sometimes find it does not get on the ferry. If you want newsroom to investigate there is something they can verify.

    Normally Western are running when AFL are off, that is the point the AFL vessels are not fit for purpose. The fact that Western is running does not get you to work/college/hospital/airport on time though.

  • I had tried to get the Argyll Ferry on the Friday of the concert, it was off. When I got to Western the car park was overflowing. I read the Dunoon Observer. Whenever the ferries are off I have trouble getting to and from work.
    Got stuck overnight on the other side for the first time ever because of the current shambles of a service.
    No research is necessary to see the damage being caused, you would have to be blind not to see it.
  • If people come to the town and have a good time what is said on blogs like this will make little difference. If they come and find boats off, have to trek about the place, worry about getting home, queue, and fork out unexpected sums of money that will put them off.

    It must be hard attracting acts to Dunoon because there is obviously a bigger audience across the water and its cheaper for people to get there. If performers find their fans are unhappy because boats are cancelled they will simply not come back.

    Did you read the piece in the Dunoon Observer about Cowal Games? It seemed to start off on a positive note with the ferries coping but then mentioned long queues for cars and that the VISITORS were saying they were disappointed and surprised by the ferry arrangements.

    If numbers drop it could take years to build them back up.

  • There was a rock concert in Dunoon on those dates in June. So what did visitors find: if they were coming by car Western was chock a block (prices were no doubt a bit of shock as well).If they were coming on foot well the passenger service was off!!!

    Excellent work being done to attract people to the town is being undermined by the ferry services.

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 ]

    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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