The concerns of residents on the Rosneath Peninsula …

Comment posted Councillors Freeman and Robb get unanimous council approval for urgent motion on Kilcreggan ferry by Councillor George Freeman.

The concerns of residents on the Rosneath Peninsula have continued to increase over the past two months at the apparent refusal of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to take their fears about the future of the Gourock – Kilcreggan ferry service seriously.

These concerns were again discussed at length at the meeting of Cove & Kilcreggan Community Council on 13 March that saw the hall packed with concerned residents. Those attending were told by me that contrary to the line that SPT and Clydelink had taken over the past two months that there would be a new-build vessel on the route as from April, it had now been admitted that there was no new vessel and that the service would be provided by the Island Princes which is approximately 16 years old.

Because of the real fears within the community that there may be no vessel with a Passenger Certificate to provide this service at the start of the new contract on 1 April, I decided to submit an urgent motion to the Council meeting on 15 March asking for Council support in seeking assurances from SPT that they have plans in place to ensure that there will be no break in service between the old contract ending and the new contract starting, even if this meant SPT agreeing to extend the current contract.

As this was an urgent motion, I was aware that I had to ensure that it was competent and that I could also persuade the Convener of the Council that the matter was urgent before the Council would consider it. Thankfully I managed to get over these two hurdles and, having explained to the Council the grave concerns of the community and the impact that any break in the service would have on those individuals who have to travel across the Clyde to get to work, college and to health services, the Council agreed unanimously to support my motion. I was able to inform the Council that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) at Greenock had confirmed to me just an hour before the Council meeting that the Island Princes did not have the appropriate Passenger Certificate that would allow it to operate on the Gourock to Kilcreggan route.

Because of the level of misinformation that we have received over the past two months on this issue, the community does not accept the statement from SPT that as it stands, they are confident that a service will run on 1 April. I am delighted at the number of people who have now come forward to campaign on behalf of the community. Locals are so frustrated by the dismissive attitude of SPT that a Facebook campaign “SAVE KILCREGGAN FERRY” has been set up by one of our dedicated campaigners which attracted almost 200 members in under 24 hours.

A protest is now planned to demonstrate the level of concern and show support for the pier staff who currently face the serious prospect of being made redundant as a result of the proposed new contract. Campaigners are confident of a good response from the community and ferry users who will meet at Kilcreggan Pier at 12pm on Saturday 24th of March.

I would encourage as many of your readers as possible to sign up to the Facebook cause / compaign PLEASE.

Councillor George Freeman also commented

  • Bob, for your information, the Island Princes is not a new-build vessel as SPT and Clydelink have insisted over the past couple of months. She is now 16 years old.

    Although we were told that she has a Passenger Certificate for Class IV operation for 96 passengers, it now transpires that she is only allowed to carry 74 passengers in the winter months. It has also been confirmed that all these passengers cannot be accommodated in the covered cabin. I certainly would not want to travel back and forward across the Clyde in the winter months without any shelter.

    We do not know how many passengers the MCA at Greenock will approve for the Clyde which is a Class V Category C waters passenger route and is certainly not the sheltered waters of the Solent.

    The Island Princess is also at least 2 knots slower than the existing vessel on the route. We are told that her sister vessel which is identical, cannot sail in a straight line but has to tack when underway. This will clearly add to the journey time.

    The Island Princes is smaller that the current vessel on the route and only has a draft of 1.0 m, a beam of 5.0 m and is only 13.7 m long. MCA have confirmed that she currently does not have the relevant Passenger Certificate that would allow her to operate on the Gourock – Kilcreggan route at this time.

    The new owner intends modifying the vessel prior to presenting her for certification. It is difficult to see how all this can be done prior to the contract start date on 1 April 2012.

Recent comments by Councillor George Freeman

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    Neil, given the report in the Sunday Herald, it would appear that, in their opinion, you are now Leader of the Council? Either that, or it is down to the poor quality of the reporting in the Sunday Herald who obviously do not check their facts before running with a story.

    It is good to note how disciplined and united your Group is within the Council under your leadership.

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    Warmest congratulations to Neil MacIntyre for a successful campaign. I look forward to working constructively with him over the next three years.

    We will now have four MacIntyres on the Council which will no doubt cause a bit more confusion. I just wonder if we will have another MacIntyre standing in the upcoming by-election in Ward 5 – Oban North and Lorn to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Louise Glen-Lee?

  • Will Argyll and Bute Council change its name?
    Question, on that basis, Argyll no longer exists so why are we using it and why are folk promoting it?
  • Will Argyll and Bute Council change its name?
    Graeme, most folk I speak to agree that at 32, there are already too many local authorities in Scotland. The number should certainly be reduced to approximately half that number. As an example, why should Ayrshire be split across three different local authority areas as it is at the moment?

    The biggest problem that local authorities face is the centralisation of powers by the Scottish Government in Edinburgh. We also see it with our Police Service, Fire & Rescue Service etc, etc.

    Are you suggesting that, in the unlikely event that Scotland was to vote for separation from the rest of the UK, that we would be going back to the old Burgh Council system? If so, they may have “real responsibilities and budgets” as you put it but for what? Street cleaning and litter collection with all the education, social work and roads services etc being centralised under the SNP in Ediburgh?

  • Will Argyll and Bute Council change its name?
    Question, if you are referring to the Argyll & Bute Council area, mail to the Helensburgh & Lomond area goes to a G82, G83 or G84 post code as it is not part of the county of Argyll which has PA post codes as it comes under the Paisley sorting office area.

    Unfortunately it is not as simple as most folk think because there is no direct correlation between the Argyll & Bute Council boundaries and the boundaries of the county of Argyll.

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9 Responses to The concerns of residents on the Rosneath Peninsula …

  1. The ‘new’ boat cannot move at the required speed and is too small for all the passengers to sit inside – see this from Cove and Kilcreggan community council – thelochsidepress.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. @baffled how many times have you been on the new vessel? because having skippered it i can assure you she has good speed great handling even in big seas and is one of the most reliable boats i know, its been running a ferry service to the isle of wight for a long time and has only lost 2 or three days in the last ten years!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Bob, for your information, the Island Princes is not a new-build vessel as SPT and Clydelink have insisted over the past couple of months. She is now 16 years old.

    Although we were told that she has a Passenger Certificate for Class IV operation for 96 passengers, it now transpires that she is only allowed to carry 74 passengers in the winter months. It has also been confirmed that all these passengers cannot be accommodated in the covered cabin. I certainly would not want to travel back and forward across the Clyde in the winter months without any shelter.

    We do not know how many passengers the MCA at Greenock will approve for the Clyde which is a Class V Category C waters passenger route and is certainly not the sheltered waters of the Solent.

    The Island Princess is also at least 2 knots slower than the existing vessel on the route. We are told that her sister vessel which is identical, cannot sail in a straight line but has to tack when underway. This will clearly add to the journey time.

    The Island Princes is smaller that the current vessel on the route and only has a draft of 1.0 m, a beam of 5.0 m and is only 13.7 m long. MCA have confirmed that she currently does not have the relevant Passenger Certificate that would allow her to operate on the Gourock – Kilcreggan route at this time.

    The new owner intends modifying the vessel prior to presenting her for certification. It is difficult to see how all this can be done prior to the contract start date on 1 April 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. The concerns of residents on the Rosneath Peninsula have continued to increase over the past two months at the apparent refusal of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to take their fears about the future of the Gourock – Kilcreggan ferry service seriously.

    These concerns were again discussed at length at the meeting of Cove & Kilcreggan Community Council on 13 March that saw the hall packed with concerned residents. Those attending were told by me that contrary to the line that SPT and Clydelink had taken over the past two months that there would be a new-build vessel on the route as from April, it had now been admitted that there was no new vessel and that the service would be provided by the Island Princes which is approximately 16 years old.

    Because of the real fears within the community that there may be no vessel with a Passenger Certificate to provide this service at the start of the new contract on 1 April, I decided to submit an urgent motion to the Council meeting on 15 March asking for Council support in seeking assurances from SPT that they have plans in place to ensure that there will be no break in service between the old contract ending and the new contract starting, even if this meant SPT agreeing to extend the current contract.

    As this was an urgent motion, I was aware that I had to ensure that it was competent and that I could also persuade the Convener of the Council that the matter was urgent before the Council would consider it. Thankfully I managed to get over these two hurdles and, having explained to the Council the grave concerns of the community and the impact that any break in the service would have on those individuals who have to travel across the Clyde to get to work, college and to health services, the Council agreed unanimously to support my motion. I was able to inform the Council that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) at Greenock had confirmed to me just an hour before the Council meeting that the Island Princes did not have the appropriate Passenger Certificate that would allow it to operate on the Gourock to Kilcreggan route.

    Because of the level of misinformation that we have received over the past two months on this issue, the community does not accept the statement from SPT that as it stands, they are confident that a service will run on 1 April. I am delighted at the number of people who have now come forward to campaign on behalf of the community. Locals are so frustrated by the dismissive attitude of SPT that a Facebook campaign “SAVE KILCREGGAN FERRY” has been set up by one of our dedicated campaigners which attracted almost 200 members in under 24 hours.

    A protest is now planned to demonstrate the level of concern and show support for the pier staff who currently face the serious prospect of being made redundant as a result of the proposed new contract. Campaigners are confident of a good response from the community and ferry users who will meet at Kilcreggan Pier at 12pm on Saturday 24th of March.

    I would encourage as many of your readers as possible to sign up to the Facebook cause / compaign PLEASE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • We wholeheartedly endorse Councilor Freeman’s request to readers to sign their support for the Kilcreggan campaigners, on the link he has given above.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Could it be that – to the senior people in SPT – the good folks of the Rosneath peninsula are to all intents and purposes an irrelevence? Of no electoral consequence, and historically not worth bothering about when set against issues of real importance like who gets which contracts and who gets what ‘perks of the job’?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Robert it certainly makes us feel irrelevant, I recently have had 2 job opportunities that I have been unable to take up because I cannot guarantee that I could get to work and be a reliable employee. This fiasco is having very real consequences on people’s lives but SPT are refusing to consider this. Arrogance, incompetence, naivety, stupidity? I don’t know which adjectives to apply to the SPT Management but none are complementary.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • This is such an obvious failure of a so-called transport authority to fulfil its function that – if the Scottish government won’t ‘pick up the bits’ – the people of Rosneath should lean hard on their MEP to get Europe to intervene and bang heads together. Before anyone thinks this is a joke, over the years the European parliament and commission have taking British transport infrastructure problems in relatively remote areas rather more seriously than either the London or Edinburgh governments have.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. where is this new old boat?

    is it on its way?

    has the MCA told SPT that there has been no communications with Clydelink and there wont be any ferry on the first of April?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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