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

  • Traffic control at new single lane section of A83, north of Strone Point
    It was last Monday, 17th November, when I noticed the fresh cracks in the road. It’s now Friday 21st, and I’m beginning to wonder whether there’s more of a problem here than BEAR / Transport Scotland have bargained for.
    For many years now long stretches of this section of the A83, north from Strone point all the way to the improved stretch south of the Oyster Bar, have been prone to surface settlement and disintegration – mostly on the shore side – and there’s surely the need for deep reconstruction rather than just patching and resurfacing.
    I wonder if, given the lack of attention to (even denial of) the width problems between Arrochar and Tarbet, there’s a mindset within the government that ‘botch it and see’ is a sustainable trunk road management policy?
  • Totty rocks as new FM elected at Holyrood
    JB – the ‘terrible inbred mentality’ is surely to some extent an understandable aversion to any whiff of the old tradition of ‘forelock touching’ – although it’s most unfortunate that this reaction should have eventually spawned some of the spectacularly rotten and greedy supposedly left wing local politicians of the Central Belt.
  • McGrigor asks why Western Isles travellers are missing out on Wemyss Bay-Rothesay disruption discount
    Isn’t there another issue here? – the fragmented and sometimes chaotic ownership and management of the port facilities that are (or should be) an integral part of a ferry system that in reality ‘fills in the gaps’ in the national road network?
    When the passenger access link at Craignure is in the tender care of the local council, and the shore staff at Rothesay are employees of the same council rather than of the government ferry system, there’s something far wrong,
  • Today’s travel updates
    Good old Calmac and their ‘technical reasons’ – it’s the 21st century, for goodness sake, tell us the facts.
  • Ferry schedule for Ullapool during harbour upgrade works with enhanced services to come
    It sounds as if Uig is going to be a busy place – let’s hope that it can cope with the extra traffic, including Clipper Ranger, without getting clogged.

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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.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • 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?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • 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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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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