Sailings cancelled on day 3 of new service

Kilcreggan pier at 6pm tonight, when the ferry service had been cancelled due to poor weather. Picture by Kerr Gardiner

 

Update: The planned sailings from 4.14pm onwards were abandoned, despite a statement on SPT’s website which said they would go ahead.

The authority later updated its site with the following message:

The Kilcreggan Ferry will not operate on Tuesday evening due to poor weather conditions. An attempt was made by the operator Clydelink to set sail just after 4pm but it soon became clear that this would not be possible due to continued swell & high winds at Gourock.

As a result, sailings for the remainder of the day are cancelled. Clydelink hopes to have the ferry operating as soon as weather conditions permit.

In another development today, the Greenock Telegraph reported former Scots Tory leader Annabelle Goldie’s concerns for the service.

The West of Scotland MSP seems to have a very different view from her fellow  Conservative Cllr David Wilson.

She said: “What is the Scottish Government doing to ensure the retention of the Gourock-Kilcreggan-Helensburgh ferry service? Many people rely on this service for commuting, leisure activities and shopping excursions to Gourock.

“I can well understand local concern that the ferry service may be disrupted. It currently acts as a lifeline to the people who use it.”

Update: At 2.18pm it was announced on Twitter (@kilcregganferry) that the next planned sailing from Gourock will be at 1614 and from Kilcreggan at 1630 today.

Ferries between Kilcreggan and Gourock were cancelled today, on only the third morning after Clydelink took over the service.
Scores of passengers had to find alternative routes to work after the Island Princess failed to appear.
This comes only ten days after hundreds of people demonstrated on Kilcreggan’s pier to show their fears for the service.
MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Given that this is not unusual weather for the west of Scotland, it is extremely disappointing that the ferry service has been cancelled within days of the service starting.
“Whilst safety of passengers must be paramount, SPT were warned about this when they changed the contract.”
Argyll and Bute councillors last month unanimously supported a call from Councillor George Freeman to extend the contract of Clyde Marine in order to protect the service.
Today Councillor Freeman said: “It is most disappointing that only two days into the new contract, it appears that the service cannot sail due to weather conditions. If this is what happens on an April day, what level of service are we going to be faced with during the winter months?
“I now have constituents and others who must try and make alternative arrangements at the last minute to get to work or college. If they are going to be faced with a totally unreliable service, then passenger numbers will start to drop which will place the service under threat. ”
The Kilcreggan ferry Twitter feed set up by Clydelink announced “@kilcregganferry: Sailings between Gourock and Kilcreggan are suspended due to high winds. Further update at 12:00”

4 Comments

  1. This is an extract of an email I senty to SPT on 18th January this year. Needless to say, i recieved no response to this point (or many of the others).

    Reduction of capacity of ferry
    >
    > This is an extremely short sighted recommendation. Larger ferries are not
    > simply about passenger numbers – they are also more stable and robust in
    > poor weather. Seabus has proved itself to be a very robust vessel in my
    > experience and a smaller vessel would cause me great concern. One only needs
    > to look at the state of Argyll Ferries after they downsized. If you downsize
    > this route, there is a real risk that service will be further eroded during
    > poor weather, showing reduced passenger numbers, and ultimately providing a
    > possible reason to withdraw the service altogether.

    Don’t say you didn’t know SPT.

  2. Having gone down to the ferry terminal this morning I was not surprised that there was no service.Whilst it was realtively calm at the Kilcreggan side there were very large waves hitting the Gourock pier.I also observed the Clyde piot boat dipping below sight in a wave trough.After telelphoning Clydelink twice and receiving the information ” we are going to try to berth @ 0800hrs at Gourock ” -at 0745hrs and “we are going to try to berth @ 0900hrs at Gourock ” at 0810hrs I made the decision to come to Inverclyde Hospital via the 0815hrs bus to Helensburgh and thereafter trains.

    I am not a proffessional or amateur sailor but have been commuting this route for the past 10yrs and (IMO) I doubt if the Seabus would have been able to safely berth at Kilcreggan steps this morning.

  3. I can’t comment on the Gourock side this morning but certainly the weather in Kilcreggan and as far as I could see by telescope at Gourock as well round about 7.00 this morning was nowhere near the weather the Seabus could manage. My concern is that Clydelink shut up shop at 4pm – given that the west of Scotland is well known for its four seasons weather (this morning calm,then wild and snow, at 6.00 I was in the garden) it is frankly outrageous that the operator has decided over two hours before the last boat, particularly when the forecast was for the winds to ease. This is April – heaven help us during the winter!

  4. Having also gone to Kilcreggan steps for 1725hrs sailing weather was fine no ferry!!!!!! That would be the long way home tonight then!! 🙁 Their website stated- “Due to continued swell & high winds at Gourock sailings for the remainder of the day are cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.” Suppose at least there is info.

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