Just in time… timetable appears

A timetable for the Kilcreggan to Gourock Sunday ferry service was published this afternoon – the last working day before it comes into operation.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) have handed the contract for the seasonal service back to Clyde Marine, which had operated the Monday to Saturday passenger service for more than three decades until being undercut by Clydelink last year.

But Councillors David Wilson and Robert Macintyre were both quoted in the local press warning that passengers must ‘use it or lose it’ as the the subsidy might not be on offer next year if passenger numbers fall.

Cynics might argue that the belated appearance of the timetable – hours after comments by the ferry user group appeared in the Helensburgh Advertiser – will not have increased the likelihood of people using the service.

And with ten-journey tickets bought from Clydelink not being valid for Sundays, the service seems far from joined up.

The new timetable is available here – there are three return sailings on Sundays.

8 Comments

  1. This stinks – and even more so that there still seems to be no information; the link above goes to the existing timetable, the SPT website has no info either on the ferry page or on the news page. Use it or lose it – what a joke.

  2. It would have helped if they’d put up a plain text version rather than an almost illegible PDF that can’t be copied and pasted easily, but here’s the Sunday timetable:

    Depart Kilcreggan 12.40 14.40 16.30
    Arrive Gourock 12.52 14.52 16.43

    Depart Gourock 13.05 15.05 16.55
    Arrive Kilcreggan 13.17 15.17 17.07

    http://www.spt.co.uk/cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Kilcreggan-Ferry-Timetable.pdf

    While it’s good to have a Sunday service at all, these timings don’t leave much scope for doing very much within a maximum of around four hours on the other side, and dependent on the train connections coinciding if going beyond Gourock.

    Substituting an earlier and later sailing would be much more useful and make it more likely that the service will be used.

  3. This timetable is one that seems designed to fail – so that authorities can then say ‘well we told them to use it or lose it’ and they lost it – because there’s only a 4-hour use-range in this ridiculous timetable. Was interested to see in the vox pop section of the H’burgh Advertiser this week, that asked what could attract people to H’burgh, that one person said that this was a seaside town and a seaside town needs a boat! We need a boat that’s not just a water-bus, but a notable seaside attraction. Imagine if the H’burgh-Kilcreggan-Gourock ‘ferry’ had been promoted as an actual tourist attraction, rather than an essential but more boring ‘transport link’. We’ve lost that link, but it could be reinstated, but only with a concerted campaign to A&B Council and gawd knows who else.

  4. I suspect the timetable is structured that way mainly, if not entirely, because the ferry firm doesn’t want to pay for a full day’s shifts for the crew. The motivation may not be to ensure the service fails, but I’ll be surprised if it survives the summer.

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