MP voices concern over ferry

MP Alan Reid is the latest politician to question the reliability of the new ferry link between Gourock and Kilcreggan.

The Liberal Democrat representative for Argyll and Bute was on the inaugural sailing on Sunday, and today (Thursday) he said: “My experience then and the cancelled sailings on Tuesday have caused me to be concerned about the ability of this service to operate in the weather conditions that frequently arise here.

“This service shows worrying signs of repeating the problems of the Dunoon-Gourock route. On that route, vessels which were too small came into service last summer. The Scottish Government, like SPT, wanted to save money by using smaller cheaper vessels.

“After hundreds of cancelled sailings, the Scottish Government finally admitted that the smaller of the two vessels on the route is not up to the job and are searching for a suitable replacement.”

Mr Reid has written to SPT asking them to monitor the number of cancelled and late sailings very closely and be ready to step very quickly in and replace the ‘Island Princess’ should it prove unable to cope with rough weather.

“There are clearly not enough seats inside the ‘Island Princess’ to cope with peak demand,” he added.

He has also asked SPT to publish the number of completed on time, late and cancelled (with reason) sailings for each month of the previous contract and the same figures each month for the current contract.

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