Kilcreggan ferry drops Helensburgh

Wednesday 18th January 2012
MV Seabus Courtesy:http://www.spt.co.uk/ferry/about.aspx

The Kilcreggan ferry between Helensburgh and Gourock is to have one of its stops withdran from April to save nearly £200,000 in operation costs following a dramatic drop in use.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which operates the Kilcreggan ferry connecting Helensburgh to Gourock, has recommended withdrawing one of the stops from April in a bid to save nearly £200,000 in operating costs

Jonathan Findlay, (right) chairman of SPT, said it was "simply not viable" to continue to operate the service as far as Helensburgh at a cost of nearly £370,000 a year reports The Herald.

Clyde Marine introduced a new 90-seater vessel, the MV Seabus, to the route in 2007 following £1.5m investment by SPT.

But the Seabus design had difficulty accessing  the low tide Helensburgh Pier and passengers faced up to 16 scheduled cancellations a month last year.

It is claimed over the past five years the ferry service lost a fifth of  passengers and only expects to carry 60,000 people  in this financial year.

The move will leave Helensburgh without a ferry connection across the Clyde. It also means residents have  a lengthy car journey across the Erskine Bridge as well as leading to a reduction in visitors. 

The report is   to be voted on at a meeting of SPT's operations committee on Friday, and recommends the introduction of a smaller vessel to operate between Gourock and Kilcreggan. 

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