MSP investigates the mystery of the missing ferry

MSP Jackie Baillie has been forced to write to Clydelink and SPT – as no back-up boat is provided on the Gourock to Kilcreggan ferry route.

In May, Clydelink announced that a temporary vessel would be used on the service, to allow the ageing Island Princess to be upgraded so more passengers could sit under cover.

Over 100 days have passed since the announcement that the Cailin Oir would be used ‘within a few days’ first hit the headlines – and no back-up vessel has been seen on the route.

The Dumbarton MSP says this is just the latest in a long line of fiascoes since Clydelink, who operate the service on behalf of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, took over in April.

Jackie said: “First there were cancellations, then there were concerns over insurance cover and then the ferry attempted to leave Kilcreggan pier whilst attached. It really has been one thing after another with Clydelink.

Jackie Baillie has submitted motions to the Scottish Parliament calling for an inquiry.

“I have called on SPT, time and time again to get a grip over this matter and they have failed to do so.

“If the Island Princess requires repair works, why are the directors of Clydelink still allowing her to be used each day on the Gourock to Kilcreggan service.

“Passenger safety should be paramount and I would urge Clydelink and SPT to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency.

“Commuters have been waiting over three months for the replacement vessel, which Clydelink promised, which begs the question – “Where is the missing back-up vessel?”

The Cailin Oir has spent most of the summer on a mooring in the Gareloch, but there has been no indication of the vessel being accepted as suitable for passenger use by the MCA.

In a story in the Herald yesterday Clydelink said unusually poor weather had been responsible for a steep fall in passenger numbers

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