Ferry survey is launched

What do you think of the Kilcreggan to Gourock ferry?

Could any changes be made which would make you more likely to use it?

Should the timetable be adjusted? Or is the ferry running better than ever, and no changes are needed?

Who should be responsible for the service? Are the Sunday sailings important?

It’s two years since Strathclyde Partnership for Transport awarded the contract to Clydelink, after Clyde Marine had served the route for more than 30 years, and since then there has been no shortage of debate on the issue.

Some of the exchanges have been distinctly heated, and sometimes they seem to have generated more heat than light.

Now a survey is being run via thelochsidepress.com throughout January – please have your say on the current service, and make any suggestions you can think of.

Anyone who might use the ferry, from either side of the Clyde, is welcome to take part, and we will share the results in February.

To access the survey, click here.

For a reminder of some stories about the ferry service, click here.


  1. Given SPT have publicly embraced the managed decline of the ferry service it’s clear that whoever runs it in future, it shouldn’t be them. If they offered a bus service to their customers that was demonstrably poorer than it was 30 years ago they’d be run out of office by angry mobs with flaming torches.

  2. this ferry??service should be terminated immediately and then put out to tender with a stipulation that the ferry must be capable of giving a reliable service to Kilcreggan and Helensburgh 7 days a week

  3. Definitely agree with Frankie: we need a seaworthy ferry that doesn’t shut down until it faces Force 10 winds, and a timetable that accommodates people needing to get back and forth for work, school, hospital, etc. We need a decent Sunday service, not one that functions only 4 hours on a Sunday. The Gourock-H’burgh service also should be reinstated, even if only the summer months when the weather’s better, but also when there’s lots of cruise ships in Gourock. There’s now at least three big cruise ships a week in Gourock. The buses line up outside the cruise ships to take the passengers off to St Andrews, Edinburgh, Turnberry, Glasgow, onshore trips that are INCREDIBLY expensive. H’burgh needs an effective marketing person, perhaps attached to the Tourist Board, to aggressively market a ferry from Gourock to H’burgh to see a typical Scottish seaside town, plus the WORLD FAMOUS Hill House, all for the price of the ferry and mebbe a taxi up to Hill House and admission – a total of what? 25 quid compared to £150-200 to get on a cruise bus to St Andrews! Also need to promote the ferry to Helensburgh people, so many of whom didn’t even REALISE there was a ferry from H’burgh to Gourock! Promote the summer-time amazing heated outdoor pool in Gourock! H’burgh also needs to get the tourist buses back, that disappeared when the Cardross roadworks went on and on and on, and the buses said ‘Stuff this’ and went up the A82 instead. Mebbe H’burgh residents found the bus tourists annoying, but they were a big boost to the local economy. All the CHORD pavement work and ‘beautification’ plans mean nothing if there’s not concerted work on the part of the Tourist Board to get tourists back to H’burgh.

  4. I absolutely agree with the above……..other cities around the world use water travel to maximise their economic potential and their environmental capital.
    The unreliable service has many unseen and probably unrecorded consequences……
    1.Personal eg lying awake and losing sleep thinking about how to get to your destination if the ferry is not running,additional significant costs involved in alternative travel, disruption to domestic arrangements if delayed or cancelled.exhaustion from 3 hour public transport land journeys involving walking, train,and bus in appalling weather.
    2.Professional eg being seen as unreliable (and losing pay) when repeatedly late or needing to change commitments due to travel disruption, limits to employment opportunity because of uncertainty about commutes and being regarded as a risky candidate bcause the ferry service reputation is widespread.
    3.Systemic ie the knock on effects on others and events.An example is the occasion when the ferry could not run because of weather .I needed use it and ongoin public transport to attend a meeting involving the personal and professional futures of other person.As I have no one else to delegate to It was essential that I attended as I am the only one with the required information for the decision,Other attendees (returning to the USA the next day and therefore unable to rearrange) successfully arrived at the meeting using forms of public transport.
    I managed to arrange to drive the one and a half hour journey arriving late and closely avoiding a deadline which would have had important implications for the person and required activation of procedures by a number of public bodies(at their cost).
    Obviously extraordinary delays provide scope for discrtion but regular weather disruption does not.
    I have complete praise for the crew who have to implement these decisions but we do need a seaworthy accessible vessel(currently downright dangerous for anyone with mobility problems)
    acknowledgement of the systemic implications for the population here, for economic development and not run the service on cost driven principles.It has become more important as fuel and private transport costs rise , public services shrink and we needto become more resilient.
    I also agree with the proposal mentioned above.

  5. A report on the Sunday ferry service is on the agenda for the forthcoming SPT operations committee. The recommendation contained in the report is that ‘no further subsidy is provided for the Sunday service.’

  6. Used to enjoy commuting to Greenock using ferry – employer had relocated me to Glasgow due to organisational change . I had a chance recently to move back to Paisley/Greenock and decide not. Part of the reason (about 30%) for this was the lack of service from the ferry due to the bad weather which the current service cannot cope with.

  7. The figures for the subsidy per passenger journey are amazing. If they’re right can it be justified? Travellers could get the bus to Helensburgh and get the train instead..

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sunday ferry link set to be cut | The Lochside Press
  2. Sunday ferry axe confirmed | The Lochside Press

Comments are closed.