Publication - FOI/EIR release

Cost effectiveness of a vehicle ferry for the Dunoon Gourock crossing: FOI release

Published: 10 Jun 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
10 Jun 2020
Cost effectiveness of a vehicle ferry for the Dunoon Gourock crossing: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000020233
Date received: 11 Mar 2020
Date responded: 26 May 2020
Information requested

1. For the vehicle ferry which Transport Scotland costed and upon which Scottish Ministers based their decision please provide; the length, gross tonnage, service speed, passenger capacity, and estimated cost of that vessel.
2. Since new vessels are required for the route the above information on a vehicle carrying ferry can only be evaluated when compared with the cost of supplying a passenger only vessel; For the passenger only ferry which Transport Scotland costed and upon which Scottish Ministers based their decision please provide; the length, gross tonnage, service speed, passenger capacity and estimated cost of that vessel.
3. Please advise the relevant experience and qualifications of the personnel who produced the above figures for Transport Scotland to allow Scottish Ministers to make their decision”

Response

The tender for the then Gourock-Dunoon ferry service was set to attract bidders for the receipt of public subsidy to operate two passenger vessels to the minimum specification set out below. It was for bidders to decide whether they would tender for a fully subsidised passenger only service or a combined subsidised passenger and commercially funded vehicle service.

Vessel Specification
The Minimum Vessel Specification defined in that tendering exercise were as follows;
a. two vessels with minimum length overall of 40 metres
b. capable of operating on this route without service restrictions throughout the year in all reasonably expected sea conditions and full day/night operation;
c. +100A1 Passenger or Passenger/Vehicle Ferry +LMC, ECO (IHM) (or equivalent certification from an alternative Classification Society) and all areas of the vessel to conform with current SOLAS, MCA, DPTAC and Merchant Shipping regulations regarding design, construction and testing of equipment and arrangements;
d. capable of operation in maximum 2.5m significant wave height with sea temperature range 0°C to 24°C and air temperature range -10°C to +30°C;
e. in expected sea conditions, the vessels are designed to minimise accelerations and roll periods to optimise passenger comfort and ensure complaints about resultant ship motions are not probable;
f. gangway passenger access to existing harbour infrastructure with full accessibility required for passengers with disabilities and those travelling with additional needs;
g. toilet facilities with full accessibility arrangements for passengers with disabilities and those travelling with additional needs;
h. capable of berthing reliably at Gourock and Dunoon town centre harbours with sufficient manoeuvrability to support berthing / unberthing to comply with the Timetable in the worst expected sea and weather conditions;
i. passenger lounge deck height minimum 2.1m;
j. capable of not less than 15 knot service speed @85% MCR in the expected sea conditions; and
k. capable of returning to port following the failure of one main engine and associated shaft-line and propulsor.

Cost of Vessels
In 2013 the MVA report estimated the costs of new vessels as £3 million for a passenger vessel and £6 million for a passenger/vehicle vessel. For the planned commencement of the services in 2019, Transport Scotland estimated the passenger vessels to cost between £4 million and £5 million each and the passenger/vehicle vessels between £8 million and £10 million. For budgeting purposes, the vessels were estimated at £5 million and £10 million respectively. The final cost would only be determined on receipt of final tenders. The cost allocation methodology for ensuring that there was no cross subsidisation between the subsidised passenger service and the commercial vehicle-carrying service was set at 50% as estimated in the MVA Report. This brought the cost of both the passenger vessel and passenger-vehicle vessel within the £5 million estimate.

Experience and Qualifications
The vessel specification and costings outlined above were informed by qualified naval architects and CCAB accountants.

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