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It’s as if the authorities are turning their …

Comment posted Job losses of established staff follow SPT’s change of operator of Kilcreggan Ferry by Robert Wakeham.

It’s as if the authorities are turning their backs on this area and hoping it’ll just disappear. There’s a chance for the government to take the lead, for Alex & co to realise that there’s more to building a country than cultivating the fat cats of dubious integrity and realise that they have a duty of constructive care for communities that seem to be subject to destructive neglect. Just what have SPT and Argyll & Bute Council done to foster links between communities on the lower Clyde that grew up around efficient, integrated ferry links that are being allowed to wither away and die in the face of the motor car? The cost of driving is going nowhere but up, and if ever there was a time for realising that these places need robust and affordable ferry links if they’re to prosper, it’s now. Alex, forget the Trumps and Murdochs as role models and remember what Robert Burns had to say about the real people, because they’re who you’re ultimately accountable to.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • Ideally it should be the end of the SPT era, with the future of Clyde passenger ferries entrusted to those with the vision to see the long term value in fostering a useful, reliable system – and the competence, integrity and determination to see their function as not just feathering their own nests while the services steadily decay through official neglect – Scotland’s not in the third world, is it?.
  • If SPT were up to speed ferry passengers would buy their train ticket on the ferry, or even be able to buy a combined ferry+train ticket, and there would be no nonsense about having to traipse down to the station ticket office and then back to the train. Train+ferry and train+bus tickets are commonplace in the civilised world, so what world does SPT inhabit?
  • Surely telling porkies to win a contract would only stack up if the contract administrator was porky-tolerant, so it’ll be interesting to see how SPT handle this.
  • Which leaves an outside observer wondering whether politicians at both central and local government level mught have been placing far to much faith in SPT. Easy to say with hindsight, but then I think there were warning signs when some senior officials were brought to book for being more interested in what SPT could do for them than what it was doing for public transport. And the Holyrood government stripped SPT of control of the Strathclyde region suburban train system – that wasn’t just down to party political hubris, was it?
  • The ambience of Gourock station is that of some East European sink town around the time communism collapsed.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The update raises more questions:
    1 – if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck has ‘inbuilt’ problems, liability might lie with the designer / supplier, if CMAL / Calmac weren’t responsible for the detailed design.
    Maybe the non-performance of the mezzanine deck is the subject of contractual dispute – and, if so, arguably, the cost not only of fixing the fault but in lost revenue etc might not be to the public account.
    2 – It’s easy to assume that an ageing fleet is less reliable, but if adequate resources are committed to maintenance (at increasing cost) to a rigorous standard, and maybe with the accent on preventative maintenance, then surely there’s less inherent risk in running quite a large fleet of ferries with little or no standby resources. The increasingly hefty costs of adequate maintenance would which would have the (perhaps politically unwelcome) benefit of making investment in new replacement ships more attractive. Unless, perhaps, they’re discovered to have ‘lemons’ like the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    There was (maybe still is?) a small ‘flying squad of’ engineers from Campbeltown who travelled the world repairing faults in ships on the move, and I got the impression that it was good business.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    I wonder what caused the Hebridean Isles’ heavy contact with Kennacraig pier?
    The Isle of Arran got into trouble in West Loch Tarbert in 2010 when a mechanical failure led to just such a heavy contact with Kennacraig pier, but that was in February just days before she was due into drydock anyway.
    And there must be a question about to just what degree Calmac’s ship breakdowns are simply due to the age of their fleet, if the Finlaggan’s mezzanine deck was inoperable just when it was most needed.
  • Supreme Court finds for appellants on Named Persons
    That ‘someone petty enough…’ is obviously alive, if not well.
  • Luss Estates opens unmanned 24 hour filling station in Luss car park – and Arrochar Mountain Rescue was first user
    A good move – and it joins the considerable number of 24-hour electric car charging points that have been ‘rolled out’ in Argyll in the last few years.

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