Strathclyde Partnership for Transport today (Friday 20 January) approved the renewal of the subsidised ferry service between Gourock and Kilcreggan at a cost of £874,750.
The five-year contract was awarded to Clydelink Ltd and will come in to effect on 1 April, providing an annual saving of £193,567 per annum over current costs. (As with all such contracts, award is governed by EU procurement regulations).
Using a new-build 60-seat vessel, Clydelink will provide a Monday – Saturday service between Gourock and Kilcreggan.
In a further decision, SPT’S Operations Committee agreed to subsidise a Sunday service from Gourock to Kilcreggan from April – October this year.
With passengers on that route representing only 7% of the total and the subsidy cost per head being £20, it was simply unsustainable.
Jonathan Findlay, SPT Chair
SPT Chair Jonathan Findlay said: “SPT is delighted that we have been able to secure the future of the Gourock – Kilcreggan ferry service for its passengers, and in so doing maintain this important transport link.
“It’s regrettable that we could not maintain the link to Helensburgh. With passengers on that route representing only 7% of the total and the subsidy cost per head being £20, it was simply unsustainable. We’ve made clear, however, that we’re keen to engage with Argyll & Bute Council and all interested parties to try to come up with a way forward in the interest of local residents.
“We’ve also taken a decision to continue the Sunday service between Gourock and Kilcreggan during the 2012 summer period, in an effort to both assess its longer-term viability and hopefully encourage greater use of it”.