Comment posted Western Ferries signs contract with Cammell Laird for new Dunoon-Gourock ferries by Robert Wakeham.
There seems to be a political sickness on the lower Clyde that is responsible for a lot more than just the Dunoon – Gourock ferry saga.
The very poor performance of the SPTE is one symptom, and the apparent muddle over how to organise publicly funded ferry services, with the Scottish and European authorities trying to navigate their way through a legislative minefield is another symptom. Fragmented responsibility for landing facilities just adds to the problem, as does the apparent inability to provide easy transfer between passenger rail and ferry services at Gourock. Will all this ever be resolved unless there’s a really effective passenger transport authority for the area? Who else but the Holyrood government can take the initiative (and show that they really can govern)?
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Not arrogance – just astonishment that you’d wish to defend such a poor arrangement, and I wonder if the boarding system for the current ferries is any easier? ‘Struggling’ could well be right.
- Ferryman: If you think that my criticism of the boarding arrangements to the streaker service is ‘some kind of fetish’ you’ve no real idea of what a decent passenger ferry should be like. You’re right that I wasn’t a regular user of the service, and for that I’m very thankful. If you were – as a passenger – it beggars belief that you’re so ignorant of just how bad the boarding facilities were by any reasonable current-day standards.
- Calmac was shackled by having primitive boats, from a passenger point of view – and although the cafe was a nice feature (but not really necessary for such a short run, while undoubtedly helping to make the passenger service uneconomic) the boarding arrangements were astonishingly bad, compounded by a steep exposed stair down from the upper deck to the lounge. I wasn’t a regular user of this service, and it seemed to me that the boats – however seaworthy – were nowhere near the quality of what passengers could reasonably expect. (and don’t get me started on the dismal facilities at Gourock for passengers transferring between boat and train)
- Ferryman, I think that there very clearly is a ‘minefield of legislation’. The sheer laboriousness and cost (in money, time, and damage to the ongoing provision of fit for purpose ferry links) of the processes involved by the Holyrood governments over recent years in their attempts to reconcile the operation of the publicly owned and managed ferry system with European competition rules point to this. There’s a risk of being so fixated on the Dunoon – Gourock saga, which has been hamstrung by the historic failure of the traditional route to change to match demand, that the bigger picture is being missed. You don’t mention SPT; count yourself fortunate if you don’t live on the Rosneath peninsula, and if you look further afield there are clearly huge potential disadvantages in ‘balkanising’ the Calmac routes, whatever the advantages of introducing private initiative – and ‘cherrypicking’ remains another obvious problem.
- Ferryman, why didn’t you address this in the ‘other post’? Changing the subject is not replying to DunoonLad’s comment.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
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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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And the track laying on the new Borders Railway is in the hands of a Dutch team, and the undersea broadband cable links laid up & down the West Coast last summer were in the hands of a French team, and the new submarine power cables from Hunterston to Kintyre are being laid by the Norwegian arm of a French multi-national.
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Maybe because, unlike in Alpine countries and Scandinavia, the snow here is usually localised and/or ‘here today & gone tomorrow’ – and people are surely wary of the hassle of having to repeatedly stop and put on / take off snow chains, or risk damage by driving with them on cleared roads.
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The fact that ‘..nothing else was on the paper except YES’ was the real problem for me, as despite feeling very strongly that Scotland needs control of its own destiny there was no way that I’d be happy with total separation, and so for me the only reasonable solution would be a federal UK.
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Unwashed sand off a beach facing the open sea should be effective – but there’s quite a history on the West Coast of problems with beach sand being used, unwashed, in mortar and concrete to the later regret of the building owner.
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