Storm warning for travellers

Blizzards and gale force winds are being predicted across Argyll and Bute today (Monday February 4).

The Met Office has issued an amber alert for wind and yellow alert for snow, with gales topping 70mph and heavy snow forecast.

They predict: “Exposed western coasts are likely to be affected by unusually high sea and swell conditions, although fortunately tides, (being neap), will make only a relatively small contribution on this occasion.

“The high winds will be accompanied by heavy, squally wintry showers, these probably falling largely as sleet and hail on coasts, but readily turning to snow inland and at any elevation. 10 to 15 cm of snow may affect higher level routes, with severe drifting and temporary blizzard conditions.

“Conditions further up on the mountains will be atrocious. The public should be aware of the potential for disruption, especially to travel.”

Ferries on the Clyde and further afield have been disrupted all day, with Clydelink trying to keep commuters on the Gourock to Kilcreggan service up date with its Twitter feed.

The Island Princess returned to the route last week, just days after MSP Jackie Baillie highlighted that four months had passed since the boat was taken off the route to be upgraded.

SPT chief executive Gordon Maclennan wrote to the Dumbarton constituency MSP to confirm this, saying: “Island Princess has had many passenger enhancements added together with improved operational characteristics and during the period of the re-fit the Cailin Oir provided a very reliable service.

“The public subsidy saving in the 10 months since the contract commenced in April 2012 is now over £150,000 compared to the previous contract and is very beneficial to other public service provision that SPT maintains.”

Sailings were disrupted by the weather today, and on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Calm waters: The Island Princess leaving Kilcreggan pier on Saturday, when there was lull in the winter storms.
Calm waters: The Island Princess leaving Kilcreggan pier on Saturday, when there was lull in the winter storms.

The contract for the Sunday service during the summer, which SPT agreed to renew last month, is now available to view here.

5 Comments

  1. Kilcreggan ferry disappointment

    I was dismayed to arrive in Gourock on the 17:25 train from Glasgow Central on Burns Friday night only for the 18:12 ferry to Kilcreggan to have already departed.

    My train arrived at 18:13 on the dot. The ferry advertises the fact it will wait ten minutes for this connection to arrive. Greeted only by the sleet at the quay, I was now unable to get across the Clyde. The miserable end to this story is that I missed the Burns evening to which I had been invited and returned back home to Edinburgh – a waste of my time and money.

    What a rotten service. I imagine that mine is not an isolated incident and can only wonder about the dismay of the peninsula residents whenever they are stranded and must travel the long way around.

    Nick Williams

  2. Pretty shameful; they have done that to a few people recently, and snow aside the weather was okay that day. Please write a complaint to SPT; if people don’t inform them when things like this happen there’s no chance anything will be done.

  3. Writing to SPT is a waste of time they are an Entity to themselves even our MSPs have no control over them!
    Still waiting on a refund of a taxi fare since 2011, which our MSP is / was involved in!
    Service is a joke and the decline in passenger numbers is purely down to the poor service which emanates form a boat which is not designed for crossing the Clyde estuary.
    I see the other ferry operators were in operation today as they generally are in comparison to the Kilcreggan Ferry.
    Staff from Coulport and Faslane from Greenock, Gourock & the south side of the Clyde are now travelling to both bases in cars or mini buses paid by themselves due to the poor service.

  4. I agree it’s unlikely that SPT will do anything, but if they receive a letter they cannot later deny it happened or that they were not informed.

  5. A few months ago I was planning to cut it fine and catch that train so on my way out I asked one of the men working on the ferry whether they would still wait up to ten minutes for that train before departing. They said no, definitely not, as if they had no idea what I was talking about. I imagine yours was not an isolated experience. With the huge increase in cancelled sailings I suppose living on the peninsula and working south of the Clyde has become pretty impractical.

    I’m fortunate in that I usually use the ferry to go shopping or walking on the moors and so I can stay north of the river if the weather forecast indicates anything more than a slight breeze is likely.

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