Calls for the Gourock to Kilcreggan ferry service to be taken over by the Scottish Government have gathered more weight.
Community councillors have written asking Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to initiate talks with Transport Scotland.
And they have been backed by MSP Stuart McMillan – albeit ‘with a heavy heart’.
Cardwell Bay and Greenock West Community Council contacted SPT this week asking for talks to begin over the management and tendering of the route.
A statement said: “It is the view of the Cardwell Bay and Greenock West Community Council that enough time has passed for SPT to make essential changes to the route and that they have failed to do so.
“With winter fast approaching, we are concerned that the route will start to suffer further problems, after a thankfully calm summer.
“We have the support of various elected members, including Jackie Baillie MSP and Stuart McMillan MSP. We hope now that this can move forward and SPT will end the stalemate that has occurred.”
With Labour’s Jackie Baillie calling for the route to be designated a lifeline so that Transport Scotland (TS) would take it on, the campaign now has support on both sides of the chamber in the Scottish Parliament.
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan wrote to the community council saying he had no objections to the idea , although it might set a dangerous precedent with the state taking over a service that should be delivered locally. He added:
That said, it is clear in this instance, SPT are failing miserably with the Gourock – Kilcreggan service. You are perfectly correct in your email you state, “this route is suffering terribly from a poor service coupled with lack of marketing and poor timetabling.
“The result is that not only do the peoples of Inverclyde and Argyll and Bute suffer from an inherently unreliable ferry service, but are very much at risk of further ferry service degradation.”
In order to obtain a vastly improved service to deliver both the communities on both sides of the river, I am happy to support TS taking on the role. I do so with a heavy heart however as I believe in local democracy taking place at local levels.
In this case, SPT have provided a good service until recent years but their failings may now necessitate the service being removed from their hands.