Publication - FOI/EIR release

Passenger only ferry crossing between Gourock and Dunoon: FOI release

Published: 16 Jul 2021

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

Published:
16 Jul 2021
Passenger only ferry crossing between Gourock and Dunoon: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100216087
Date received: 20 Jun 2021
Date responded: 13 Jul 2021
Information requested

1. Have any studies been done on the financial and/or social impact on Dunoon of the town centre crossing becoming passenger only, if so please reference them.

2. Of the HGVs and Coaches crossing the Firth of Clyde by ferry what percentage used the Dunoon - Gourock crossing and what percentage used the McInroy's Point - Hunter's Quay crossing before the town centre crossing became passenger only.

3. Of the small passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles crossing the Firth of Clyde by ferry what percentage used the  Dunoon - Gourock crossing and what percentage used the McInroy's Point - Hunter's Quay crossing before the town centre crossing became passenger only.

4. When the town centre crossing became passenger only what percentage of coaches and HGVs that had used it:
a) Ceased to travel to/from Dunoon and surround
b) Switched to using the McInroy's Point -Hunter's quay ferry crossing instead to travel to/from Dunoon and surrounds.
c) Switched to driving to/from Dunoon and surrounds via the A83 instead of using a ferry service.

5. When the town centre crossing became passenger only what percentage of small passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles that had used it:
a) Ceased to travel to/from Dunoon and surrounds
b) Switched to using the McInroy's Point -Hunter's quay ferry crossing instead to travel to/from Dunoon and surrounds.
c) Switched to driving to/from Dunoon and surrounds via the A83 instead of using a ferry service.

6. What effect did loss of the town centre ferry crossing have on traffic flows through Gourock.

7. What effect did the change to a passenger only service have on air quality in Gourock in particular:

  • PM10 particulate matter/PM2.5 particulate matter/PM1 particulate matter/Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)/Nitric oxide (NO)/Nitrogen oxides as nitrogen dioxide (NOXasNO2)

8. What effect did the change to a passenger only service have on air quality in Dunnon in particular:

  • PM10 particulate matter/PM2.5 particulate matter/PM1 particulate matter/Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)/Nitric oxide (NO)/Nitrogen oxides as nitrogen dioxide (NOXasNO2)

9. In terms of the ferry vessels used what was the impact on the release of greenhouse gases of switching from vehicle carrying ferries to passenger only ferries.

10. Taking into account the change in vehicle journeys patterns result from the loss of the Dunoon Gourock ferry crossing what was the overall total impact on the release of greenhouse gases of switching from vehicle carrying ferries to passenger only ferries.

11. When the A83 is closed at the 'rest and be thankful' what is the effect on traffic volumes and queuing times at Hunter's Quay and McInroy's Point.

12. Are there any plans to use the vehicle linkspan at Gourock for anything other than as a Port of Refuge for Arran and Bute ferry services.

13. Are the ferry routes across the Firth of Clyde to Cowal the only domestic ferry routes in Scotland to which RET does not apply, if not please list the others.

14. Are there any plans to implement RET on the town centre ferry crossing, if so what are the timescales

15. Are there any plans to implement RET on the McIRoy's Point - Hunter's Quay ferry crossing, if so what are the timescales.

16. If the current town centre ferries are to be replaced with new passenger only ferries will those be of at least 40m in length and, if not, what studies have been done to confirm that such vessels would be able to operate at least as reliably as the former 'Streaker' vehicle ferries.”

Response

Our answer to your enquiry is provided in Annex A.

ANNEX A

1. In the public domain – (s25) FOISA applies.

Details regarding studies undertaken on the financial and, or social impact on Dunoon, of the town centre crossing becoming passenger only, are already in the public domain. However to aid you in your search, details may be found in section 3 of the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service report: Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service: Feasibility Study of a Future Passenger and Vehicle Service with the Vehicle Portion being non-Subsidised (transport.gov.scot)

2. and 3. In the public domain – (s25) FOISA applies.

Vehicle usage of the two ferry routes, prior to the town centre crossing becoming passenger only is already in the public domain, however, information may be found at section 4 of Statistics (transport.gov.scot)

4. 5. and 6. In the public domain – (s25) FOISA applies.

The MVA report notes changes to the travel habits of coaches, HGVs and small vehicles, following the town centre crossing becoming passenger only. To aid you in your search, these may be found in section 5 of the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service report. The breakdown of vehicles may not be exactly as you describe, but all information, if available, is in the report and is published.

7. and 8. Information not held – (s17) FOISA applies.

The information on air quality in Gourock and Dunoon is not held by the Scottish Government. It is manifestly evident that a vehicle service on the town centre crossing would increase vehicle emissions in both town centres. The decision to have a passenger only service reflects the Scottish Government’s stated policy to encourage the use of public transport and the promotion of active travel to reduce vehicle emissions. The relevant Local Authorities may be able to assist you.

9. Information held.

In terms of ferries and the impact on ‘greenhouse gases’ of switching from vehicle carrying ferries to passenger only ferries,the savings were as follows:

Annual emissions (2008/2009) from Saturn and Jupiter = 3,970 Tonnes CO2e
Annual emissions (2012/2013) from Ali Cat and Argyll Flyer = 2,053 Tonnes CO2e

Assuming that all vessels were dedicated to the route during the year then the saving of the newer vessels is 1,917 Tonnes CO2e per year (48%).

10. Information not held – (s17) FOISA applies.

We do not hold information on the change in vehicle journey patterns and emissions. 

11. Information not held – (s17) FOISA applies.

Information on queuing times at Hunter’s Quay and McInroy’s point, when the A83 is closed, is not held.

12. Information held.

The vehicle linkspan, which will be replaced as part of the redevelopment at Gourock harbour, will be used as an alternative mainland port for services to Arran and Bute.

13. Information partly held: RET has been rolled out across all lifeline ferry routes which the Scottish Government has responsibility for, with the exception of the following routes:

  • Gourock to Dunoon
  • Gourock to Kilcreggan
  • Aberdeen to Lerwick and Kirkwall
  • Scrabster to Stromness

Although inter-island ferries and the setting of fare levels are the responsibility of the local authorities, funding has been provided in 2021-22 to allow Orkney Islands Council to introduce RET on inter-island services.

The Scottish Government does not hold a comprehensive list of all currently operational private and local authority ferry routes in Scotland and their fare structures, as we are not responsible for these. However I attach a link to the Ferries Plan which contains a table detailing RET status and future responsibility, compiled in 2012, at Annex 4.

Details of Local Authority ferry routes, including fares, can be found on the following links:
https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/timetable/ferry
https://www.highland.gov.uk/homepage/62/corran_ferry
https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1526/public_and_community_transport/777/cromarty_ferry
https://www.orkney.gov.uk/Service-Directory/I/Internal-Ferry-Services.htm
https://www.shetland.gov.uk/ferries

14. Information held.

No commitments have been given in terms of timing or funding for any roll out of RET on Gourock to Dunoon. Scottish Government resources have been pivoted to deal with Covid-19, however this issue will be given consideration in due course.
We need to continue work to fully understand the legal constraints and options for reducing fares where there is more than one operator, prior to any further decisions on RET.

15. Information held.

A commercial operator, Western Ferries, operates the ferry from McInroy’s Point, Gourock, to Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon. Western Ferries has sole responsible for setting fares on this route, however, we need to continue work fully understand the legal constraints and options for reducing fares where there is more than one operator, prior to any further decisions on RET.

16. Information held.

The Gourock Dunoon Kilcreggan Infrastructure and Vessels Working Group is in the process of designing a vessel to operate between Gourock and Dunoon which will be as resilient as it practically can be. The design process is ongoing with feasibility studies being carried out ahead of the detailed design stage. The Dunoon concept vessel design is being designed to meet the requirement of Category D: Tidal rivers and estuaries and current standards. Modelling has been carried out to verify performance in the wind and wave climate on this route.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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