MSP demands action to sort Kilcreggan ferry ‘once and for all’

A meeting to sort out the Kilcreggan ferry ‘once and for all’ has been called for by local MSP Jackie Baillie.

The request to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which funds the service, comes after yet more confusion and misinformation last week.

Following a breakdown, the Island Princess was limited to 12 passengers  – rather than the contractual minimum of 60 – and forced to abandon its timetable.

A non-stop shuttle service ran at peak times, but frustrated passengers still had to wait in line at both Kilcreggan and Gourock.

Meanwhile, Clydelink’s Twitter feed falsely claimed the boat was running to timetable and no mention of the problem appeared on SPT’s website.

The previous month, at the only service review meeting to be held by SPT in three years, Clydelink’s Mark Aikman had agreed to improve the accuracy of communication with passengers.

The latest problems with the Island Princess have now been resolved following another inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and it is operating to timetable.

Jackie Baillie said she had received complaints from constituents, adding: “Passengers have been promised better reliability and more communication when things go wrong on numerous occasions, most recently last month at the service review meeting, but there appears to have been little improvement to services on the ground.

“I have written to SPT to ask for a meeting to discuss these latest problems and what can be done to improve the Kilcreggan – Gourock service once and for all.”

In her letter to SPT chair Jim Coleman, she added: “The reliability of the service and the lack of communication with passengers has been a regular complaint for some time now and it is disappointing that despite your best efforts the quality of the service does not appear to be improving.

“I would therefore like to know when the contract is up for renewal. I would also be grateful if we could meet to discuss these latest problems and the future of the service.

“I would appreciate the opportunity to try to find a way to resolve these issues once and for all.”

The five-year contract with Clydelink started on April 1 2012.

5 Comments

  1. Little chance of any meetings taking place in the village Can’t have regular ferry passengers complaining
    about the ferry service provided. Or lack of service. There seems to be a lot more cars in the car parks in
    the village. This last few weeks. Can only assume it is workers this side of the river. Parking here so they
    can at least drive home, if the ferry is off.

  2. Am amazed to learn that there was only one service review meeting in three years considering the cancelations in each year with no back up vehicle available and wonder whether SPT are also victims of the lack of communication on the part of ClydeLink! I personally witnessed the vehicle along side recently at the Kilcreggan Pier ahead of a 9.56 sailing to only find on arrival that it was halfway over to Gourock. A meeting in Glasgow at 11.15 meant a £30 taxi fare to Helensburgh.

    I am sure regular commuters have even more frustrating experiences including a family of tourist who had to split up due to the 12 person imposition!!

  3. I hope Jackie Baillie is going to raise the issue of Penalties incurred and accrued regarding non weather related stoppages and 12 person sailings which contravene the terms of the contract. By now if these were rigorously enforced ClydeLink would surely be in default and the contract cancelled.

  4. I encourage all ferry users to write to their MSPs and councillors as well as complaining directly to SPT, as that way they can’t ‘lose’ the letters; enough complaints may stir some action, even if it isn’t anything as satisfactory as SPT being relieved of the responsibility of overseeing the service.

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