Auditors to investigate ferry

Auditors have taken the first step in investigating the ferry service between Kilcreggan and Gourock, it was confirmed this week.

MSP Stuart McMillan called for Audit Scotland to investigate in a debate at Holyrood earlier this month.

And the Herald today (Friday) confirmed that SPT’s external auditors, KPMG, had been asked by Audit Scotland to establish whether there were grounds for a full investigation.

In a letter to the Herald, Councillor George Freeman writes: “As stated in the minutes of the SPT Operations Committee dated January 20, 2012, this contract was awarded by SPT to Clydelink, ‘based on the provision of a new build 60-seat vessel’.

“Given this decision, the question must be asked why we have a 16-year-old vessel on the route currently restricted to 12 passengers?”

Late yesterday operators Clydelink, who took over the service on April 1, lifted the 12-passengers restriction which had been imposed by the MCA on Monday.

The MCA have confirmed that Clydelink now have two skippers who meet its requirements for being a master of a class 5 passenger vessel in the Gourock to Kilcreggan route.

Mark Aikman of Clydelink was quoted in a Herald website story yesterday dismissing passengers’ concerns by saying : “It’s not famine in Ethiopia.”