Friday, 15 January 2010

Renfrew Ferry

Further to my previous post on the ferry, here are some reactions to this:

Political co-operation will be needed to save the essential Renfrew Ferry service

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is a board composed of the west of Scotland councils, including Renfrewshire. The 29-member board has 20 elected councillors on it, 12 of whom are Labour, including the chair and two vice-chairs. If that board decides to scrap the Renfrew/Yoker Ferry, it will be at hands of the majority Labour membership (“Renfrew Ferry could be sunk by budget cuts”, The Herald, January 14).

For the forthcoming financial year, SPT is proposing a freeze to council grant requisitions. Therefore, there will be no change in the grant from councils. That could change if the board so wishes. Renfrewshire pays its way to subsidise regional transport and would expect its essential ferry service at Renfrew to continue. I am appalled at the handing of this by a body of which our council is supposed to be a constituent part.

SPT has picked the wrong target in proposing to scrap the Renfrew Ferry: it is not a luxury, it is an essential service.

The SPT is chaired by a Glasgow Labour councillor, Alastair Watson, and is dominated by Labour members. The decision to save the ferry is with Labour, and I hope its members listen. They have the flexibility to save it if they so choose.

We will be working hard to support the ferry service. We will also make clear the voting record from the SPT decision meeting on January 22 – then people will see who is responsible for putting this centuries-old service in danger.

Derek Mackay,

SNP Leader, Renfrewshire Council,

Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley.

I am appalled the Labour-led Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is considering axing the Renfrew Ferry (Evening Times, January 13).

Only last year it was agreed that an alternative option of a bridge at this site was unaffordable and SPT said it planned to bring in a new ferry to service this route. So what has happened since then?

Councillor Alistair Watson, SPT chairman, has been vociferous in his attacks on the SNP government for cancelling the Glasgow Airport Rail Link and, in a moment of political spite has decided to attack SNP-controlled Renfrewshire Council by removing the Renfrew Ferry service.

SPT is dominated by Labour councillors and this decision will be seen as Labour attacking a vital public service.

As for the comments by MPs Jim Murphy and Jim Sheridan, instead of trying to blame someone else for this decision, why don’t they hold up their hands and admit that if there is a funding problem it is entirely due to the economic incompetence of the UK Labour government.

Mags MacLaren, Paisley

Is anyone prepared to believe that this veiled threat is just another anti SNP ruse by Murphy and the New Labour Unionist Party cabal in Glasgow to try and undermine the SNP? I am.

Scotland and her people are the very last thing this new Labour gang think of. All that matters to them is there dogmatic view of Scotland that creates deprivation in some parts of Glasgow worse than some East European countries. Stalin would be proud of them.

I worked on the river about 9 years ago and every year the threat hung over the ferry. The staff them selves have put forward ways to increase the use of this ferry, but they were caught up in the same political bawbaggery that The Pride of the Clyde was. Glasgow do not want to do anything that gives service to Renfrew as they are sore at losing the battle to have the Braehead shopping centre included within the Glasgow boundary. With some justification as the City boundary cuts through Braehead.

The scheme that the staff put forward included running a triangular route which would go from Yoker to Braehead, to Renfrew, in rotation. During busy times that would maybe require both boats, and would need upgrading work done at Braehead and refitted boats. Research done by staff amongst passengers found that everyone was in favour as for one thing you could then go from Clydebank to Braehead in 20 minutes instead of the journey of over an hour if you use public transport at the moment. So more revenue for the ferry, and more jobs on the river. OK, SPT subsidise the ferry, they also subsidise bus and train routes.

Glasgow's cooncilors will be more concerned with their subsidised canteen and tea trolly.

It was similar to a scheme that staff were being asked for on The Pride of The Clyde, with commuters asking to be transported from Braehead into the City and back five days a week, Co-operation was not forth coming from Glasgow and the owner was so sickened he sold the boat to Loch Katrine.

So now we have no Waterbus on the river and possibly no Renfrew Ferry, for no other reason than to satisfy the ego's of bloody minded self serving pygmy politicians. Most cities would welcome such a river as The Clyde flowing into the centre of the city but no, not Glasgow's pygmies.

1 comment:

subrosa said...

Excellent post KBW.

Scot Independent.


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