Doubt cast over early ferries on Sundays

An earlier ferry sailing between Kilcreggan and Gourock on Sundays should not be introduced, transport officials have recommended.

The idea was floated after Harry Cathcart of the ferry user group responded to a ‘use it or lose it’ warning by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) board member David Wilson.

Cllr Maurice Corry asked SPT to consider a 10am sailing, as currently there are only three return trips on Sundays.

But a report to Friday’s meeting of the body’s operations committee recommends that members take no action, stating: “Continuing levels of low patronage and consequently high subsidy cost per passenger trip exceed SPT guideline criteria.”

Cllr Wilson was quoted in the Greenock Telegraph earlier this year saying the subsidy was £15 per head on Sundays.

The Sunday service is run this year by Clyde Marine Motoring, but from Monday to Saturday the route is covered by Clydelink; tickets bought from one company are not valid for the other.

At the same meeting a report shows that there were more passengers in May and June this year than 12 months earlier – increases of 24.7% and 7.7% respectively.

There were repeated problems and cancellations in that part of 2012 though, and the figures still represent a fall compared to the two previous years.

The figures in full are as follows:

May 2013 – 4,291 passengers; May 2012 – 3,440; 2011 – 5,272; 2010 – 6,054

June 2013 – 4,661; 2012 – 4,327; 2011 – 4,858; 2010 – 6,635

© The Lochside Press

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