Kilcreggan’s ferry service finally returned this afternoon – as new figures showed the huge impact of problems earlier this year.
The Island Princess had been out of action for almost two weeks when it sailed from Gourock after 2pm.
This was an hour later than operators Clydelink had promised, much to the frustration of families who had been waiting in the rain at Kilcreggan pier.
Meanwhile Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which subsidises the service, revealed that passenger numbers plummeted by 33% in September and 45% in July.
The figures, which show a total of 438 cancellations over 18 individual days, only cover the period until September 30 – since there have been even more problems, so the nest set of figures is expected to be worse.
A report to SPT’s operations committee states: “A number of control measures have been implemented by SPT in response.
“Aside from regular review meetings with the operator, SPT has engaged a firm of marine surveyors to monitor and report on the operation of the service.”
In August it was revealed following Freedom of Information requests that there had only been one review meeting in three years, and that years had gone by without any of the promised inspections of the boat.
SPT has now formally invited tenders for a new contract for the service – but only from July 2018, when Clydelink’s contract is due to expire.