Now open again, apparently. …

Comment posted A83 closed in both directions by Robert Wakeham.

Now open again, apparently.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • One advantage of a fixed link would be that any government would find it difficult to charge tolls when all other bridge and tunnel tolls have been abolished.
  • Careful, Jim – you’ll enrage ‘ferryman’.
  • Scottish Citylink’s response to why the ‘Service Updates’ section on their website doesn’t mention the disruption caused by the A83 closure is to say that they think the road might reopen soon. In this weather, I somehow doubt that.
  • I’m surprised that the disruption and extended journey times don’t seem to be flagged on the West Coast Motors and Scottish Citylink websites, and it would be very useful to have an emergency timetable for the route south from Inveraray to Campbeltown (and from Tarbet to Glasgow?) to avoid passengers having to stand at bus stops in foul weather for goodness knows how long. Any chance of this, Citylink / West Coast?
    I know that traffic gets glued up on the A82 diversion route between Tarbet and Ardlui due to the very substandard road, but even so it must be possible to predict the ‘earliest delayed timings’, surely?
  • Meaning?

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • Communities Secretary on prompt to intervene with revaluation of Castle Toward
    Goodwill? – Dick Walsh?
  • How not to sell oil
    Just chance that the ‘United Kalavryta’ is the Greek tanker carrying the oil, but the name is topical, to say the least, in major political events that could have as much impact on us here in Argyll as the price of oil.
    Kalavryta is a small mountain town in the northern Peloponnese, above the southern shores of the Gulf of Corinth, and has a terrible history, being the site of one of the worst of the Glencoe-style reprisal massacres by German forces during WW2.
    The mountain country around Kalavryta was a centre of Greek resistance, and so the entire male population over the age of 12 – nearly 700 people – was massacred and the town torched, but the German commanders responsible were never brought to justice.
    I just wish that the German politicians sounding off about the current financial situation in Greece had engaged their brains, and chosen their words more carefully, before going on a rant about fiscal rectitude.
    I seem to remember learning that it was a similar level of hubris amongst European politicians over the post WW1 financial collapse of Germany that launched Hitler’s career.
  • Giggle factor on the rise as Stornoway guesthouse runs competition to guess start date of new ferry
    If there is an issue, it means that there’s been a gross failure to coordinate the design of boat and berth – not for the first time on the West Coast, in recent years.
    Pretty elementary stuff to get wrong, if this is in fact what’s happened.
  • Giggle factor on the rise as Stornoway guesthouse runs competition to guess start date of new ferry
    Time for the local MSP to dig out the facts of the matter.
  • Syriza, one seat short of overall majority, now talisman for the Scot Nats
    Just remember that the ancient Greek city states were the cradle of democracy, and that – apart from WW2, the subsequent civil war and the military rule of the Colonels from 1967 to 1974 – Greek governments have been democratically elected and thus the Greek nation could reasonably be seen as accountable for the rottenness of successive governments, as well as the prevailing ingrained culture of tax dodging.
    Just as the recent Westminster governments, with their less than honourable reluctance to confront large scale tax avoidance, can arguably be seen as reflecting the will of the people. As can the democratically elected councillors in Kilmory.

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18 Responses to Now open again, apparently. …

  1. If we had competition on ferry services across the Firth of Clyde then for a lot of people taking a vehicle ferry between Dunoon and Gourock might be a viable alternative option to the A83.

    Currently of course this alternative route is a private monopoly.

    You may wish to contrast the situation on crossing the Firth of Clyde with that on the Firth of Forth where literally billions are being spent on providing bridges which anybody will be able to cross free.

    I do not think there is a sensible argument for bridges or tunnels on the firth of Clyde ( though at those prices why not ? ) but at least let us have some competition on ferry prices or restrict them to a reasonable level!

    Look how much it costs for a family of tourists to make the crossing to Cowal. What does it cost for a commercial vehicle to cross? Should we not have a reliable, robust and fairly price transport system in the West of Scotland?

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    • The Western Ferries service is surely unlikely to be that much more expensive than a competing service, so the viability of a ferry as an alternative to the A83 is unlikely to change if there was once more a vehicle ferry on the town route.
      The ideal would be free – or road equivalent tariff – ferry services on every route, on the principle that vehicle operators pay for the infrastructure through road tax, and you’d charge foot passengers what they’d pay if they could do the same trip by bus.
      I would have thought that ideally a tunnel would be preferable – no more weather related delay and disruption, and for passengers bus (and train) services could be better integrated.
      It’s the capital and operating costs versus those for new ferries and termini, but also putting a cost on weather disruption of ferries, or conversely weighting the tunnel costs for its ‘dependability’ value.
      With regard to the A83, my recollection in the past has been that when blizzards close the Rest the weather also stops the ferries, and so I’d prefer the tunnel option.

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          • The Turing test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour. In Turing’s original illustrative example, a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer; it checks how closely the answer resembles typical human answers. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine’s ability to render words into audio

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    • What on earth does it matter that the crossing to Cowal is run by a private monopoly? The west coast islands all have ferry services run by a monopoly too! The only difference is that it is the taxpayer that has to fund them, via the hopelessly inefficient behemoth that is known as Caledonian MacBrayne.

      As for the suggestion that RET be applied to the Hunter’s Quay service, were the same formula applied that the SNP already applied to west coast communities, then fares would actually have to be raised!

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      • It matters because an eminent economist has argued that what is now a monopoly service is the most expensive ferry crossing in the world, making profits well in excess of industry norms.

        I did not mention RET. The Scottish Government should simply cap the profits at an acceptable level, I believe it is within their powers to do so.

        What is the justification for not doing that? They are spending billions on crossings of the Firth of Forth which will be free to use, yet to cross the Firth of Clyde you have to pay dues to a private company.

        The situation regarding tolls on the Skye bridge was deemed unacceptable, what is the difference here.

        The A83 is going to be in trouble for many years even once an emergency road is in place. Having access to a large part of Argyll controlled by a private company is not acceptable.

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        • One advantage of a fixed link would be that any government would find it difficult to charge tolls when all other bridge and tunnel tolls have been abolished.

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        • Most expensive in the world? Hard to believe that statement ferryman.
          Was always led to understand the Colintrive / Rhubodach was most expensive ferry crossing in Europe considering time taken and distance covered for passage. £18.25 return for journey

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          • All is explained here;
            http://www.brocher.com/Ferries/expensiveferry.htm

            Colintraive-Rhubodach is described as a contender but when you take these factors into account Western is flagged as being the top;

            (a) Length of crossing: the shorter the crossing, the cheaper it should be.

            (b) Volume of traffic: the more traffic the service carries, the cheaper it should be.

            (c) Nature of service: the more basic the service, the cheaper it should be.

            The prices are a bit out of date, but so are traffic volumes which have increased (now a monopoly) and the service has not changed.

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    • I think this is quite interesting. This problem caused serious inconveince to my family yet there are hardly any postings here apart from an automaton. Does this mean that ForArgyll is really a complete fiction?

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  2. For comparison see today’s BBC Scotland News report on Highland Council’s public consultations on possible solutions to the A890 Strome Ferry bypass.

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  3. I’m surprised that the disruption and extended journey times don’t seem to be flagged on the West Coast Motors and Scottish Citylink websites, and it would be very useful to have an emergency timetable for the route south from Inveraray to Campbeltown (and from Tarbet to Glasgow?) to avoid passengers having to stand at bus stops in foul weather for goodness knows how long. Any chance of this, Citylink / West Coast?
    I know that traffic gets glued up on the A82 diversion route between Tarbet and Ardlui due to the very substandard road, but even so it must be possible to predict the ‘earliest delayed timings’, surely?

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    • Scottish Citylink’s response to why the ‘Service Updates’ section on their website doesn’t mention the disruption caused by the A83 closure is to say that they think the road might reopen soon. In this weather, I somehow doubt that.

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  4. This is really quite interesting. The raod closure caused my family serious inconvenience yet there are hardly any post here. Does this mean ForArgyll is not really read or is serviced mainly, as seems to be the case, by an automaton?

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  5. Only recently discovered ForArgyll – needs more publicity!
    My fear concerning ‘The Rest’ is that there will be a terrible tragedy before anything is done to solve the current problem. As usual too much talk and not enough action! Get rid of Trident from the UK and we would have more funds for public safety and much more.

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