The Sunday ferry service between Kilcreggan and Gourock ‘should run next year’, a Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) member has said.
Cllr Robert MacIntyre gave the assurance to Cove and Kilcreggan community councillors on Tuesday night.
He confirmed that requests for an earlier ferry on Sunday mornings had been rejected, as revealed here, saying: “I did request an earlier service but they thought that because of the cost it was too expensive for two months but they would certainly look at it for next year.”
The Sunday service runs from the beginning of April to mid-October; this year the contract was awarded by SPT to Clyde Marine Motoring, whereas Clydelink still runs the ferry from Monday to Saturday.
Earlier this summer Inverclyde’s SPT representative, Cllr David Wilson, gave a far more pessimistic message about the Sunday service, saying it would be cut unless more people used it.
Community council chairman Nick Davies said both Transport Scotland and SPT had responded to a letter he wrote in response to MSP Jackie Baillie’s request to class the route as a lifeline service, although SPT had been the less enthusiastic of the two bodies, saying it was up to the peninsula to demonstrate the case.
“The ferry is very, very important and what we are looking for is the best way of guaranteeing its future,” he said.
Cllr Macintyre said SPT were ‘not really against making it a lifeline service’, but warned: “The problem is if we make it a lifeline service and the Scottish Government take it over they might not go ahead with the improvements that SPT are intending to do at the pier.”
Kilcreggan pier is owned by Argyll and Bute Council, which received a £27,000 grant from SPT towards £200,000 maintenance works, which were completed earlier this year.
In meetings last year SPT stated that pontoons at Kilcreggan, Gourock and Dunoon piers were the best way forward for local ferries, but after a five-month Freedom of Information battle the feasibility study for this project was revealed on this website in December.
This stated that pontoons would cost £0.5m in Kilcreggan and £1.45m in Dunoon, but the Kempock Street Bay site in Gourock was unsuitable unless a total of £4.64m was spent there, making it ‘cost prohibitive’.
Dated June 2012, the study has still not been made publicly available or discussed in open meetings by Argyll and Bute councillors. Details are available by clicking on the links below:
- Exclusive – £2m plans for pontoons
- How they would look – the planned pontoons
- Opinion – the £20,000 red herring