Comment posted Research reveals shock insights into reality of Dunoon ferry service provision by newsroom.
The Scottish Government cannot instruct Argyll Ferries to replace a passenger ferry with a vehicle ferry within the term of the current contract – unless – directly or indirectly, it assists them to do so.
Were this to happen, it is unimaginable that this would survive the challenge under competition law that would inevitably follow from the other bidders for this contract.
All bidders in the original tender for the current contract operated by Argyll Ferries, were invited to submit a proposal to deliver the passenger service in a vehicle and passenger ferry.
In this instance, every penny of the costs associated with the delivery of a vehicle service would have to be accounted separately from the passenger costs, which are legally subsidised.
Not one bidder submitted such a proposal – because the vehicle service between the town centres of Gourock and Dunoon cannot be competitive and is not financially viable.
No politician can wave a wand and change this fact.
Me Neil, as with any politician is skilled in using phrases to deceive the unwary, such as ‘the Scottish Government is committed to…’- which means nothing; or ‘I would like to see…’ – which means the same.
What is going on is a surreal spectator sport where the government appears to be flailing around against the scenario they brought into being themselves by the decisions they took.
Presumably, they could either stop the current contract and transfer the financial penalty from one pubic sector pocket to another via the Argyll ferries books.
They could then retender the contract, specified differently – but this could not make a vehicle service between the Gourock and Dunoon town centres subsidisable; nor could it make it financially viable. What could a second outcome be?
Alternatively they could go ahead and indirectly assist Argyll Ferries to a vehicle and passenger ferry – and buy off the original competing bidders from issuing a challenge under competition law by giving them routes removed from the west coast portfolio operated by Calmac and ‘tendered’.
newsroom also commented
- You are logically adrift in this – and you actually support the position the facts demonstrate.
Nothing we have said in evidencing the massive capacity overprovisiom on this route has anything at all to do with whether empty ferries sail or not.
If you are correct that there are occasions when there is no reason to sail, it is actually further evidence that the capacity is way ahead of the demand – otherwise those services would sail.
- There are two issues here – neither operator publishes breakdown figures and one would need to see those and analyse them closely to distil the usage patterns.
Peak time under supply may be likely which is why we’ve said the Scottish Government, if it retired public sector involvement, might tender a small filler service.
Then, major city transport cannot cope with full demand at peak time commuter times. You can’t get on a tube sometimes so you learn to start earlier.
There’s no reason why the massive overprovision on the Gourock Dunoon route might not be left to the market to resolve as it will.
Travel early or get in late. Taking that line would also spread use of capacity better.
Recent comments by newsroom
- Huge consultancy costs to date on CHORD scheme
The £32k+ for Oban is not about consultancy but refers to what has already been spent to date on the Oban project itself.
We have also published earlier that AECOM were given a subsequent consultancy contract of around £600k from CHORD – but at that time, a few years ago, understood that contract to relate to other CHORD projects as well as Oban’s.
This means that, of the around £1.9 million spend so far on consultants fees for CHORD, AECOM have had, in total, a very large portion of it.
It means that, for Oban, which is your interest – the amount spent on consultancy fees in the years that this initiative has been running, far outweighs the money spent on the Oban CHORD initiative itself.
- SRSN Chair raises issue of Argyll evidence with Holyrood Education Committee
Your Education Director has, however, delivered himself of a ‘clarification’ to the Holyrood Education Committee. Article published here earlier today:
- Sneddon runs white flag to half mast on council deception of parliamentary Education Committee
Mr Sneddon is no one’s whipping boy.
He has been a prime mover since he arrived; and has acted on his own initiative in some matters that have brought the council as a whole into national disrepute – as when he sent out a dreadfully stalinist Press Release in the name of the Council on the revived Martha Payne excursion on school dinners just as the fledgling SNP administration was trying to find its feet.
He has also been given charge of progressing the sale of Castle Toward – a matter hung about with controversy – which is supported by a substantial evidence base.
It is a worrying signal of values at the council – and of its grasp of the realities – that a man like Mr Sneddon, with so whimsical a relationship with facts, has been chosen to keep the disposal of the property under way.
- Huge consultancy costs to date on CHORD scheme
That particular cost breakdown list [from the total given above it] is for the various spends on actual project works.
A question here relates to the Campbeltown all-weather sports pitch.
THis was not part of the Campbeltown CHORD project but money was vired from the townl;s CHORD budget to pay for the AWP.
The question now is whether the council is trying to make the Campbeltown CHORD project look better than it is by including the vired AWP spend as if it were a completed CHORD initiative.
The positive side of this is that the AWP was badly needed in Campbeltown and has done a lot of good there in many ways.
CHORD money is also being vired to the Town Hall project – a signature and joyful Campbeltown building.
Neither, though, were any part of the Campbeltown CHORD ‘vision’.
- Grangemouth admission of intention to import shale gas confirms For Argyll situation analysis
You are mistaken.
Petrochemical feedstock form tne Orth Sea is fie – the problem is that, like the other UK refineries, Grangenouoth is not geared up to handle the cheaper heavy crudes which are the future of the refining industry and of North Sea production.
This is a serious limitation on their lifespan.
Our eight-part series is a seriously researched exercise.
You would have found this information in its pieces on refining and on Grangemouth.
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