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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard
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Home News FURTHER DELAY FOR DUNOON FERRY TENDER

FURTHER DELAY FOR DUNOON FERRY TENDER

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DETAILS about the future of the Dunoon-Gourock town centre ferry service will not -as previously hoped - be revealed in September, it emerged yesterday (Thursday).

 

In a written parliamentary answer, Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf confirmed that the current review “on the future approach to the procurement of lifeline ferry services” would take longer than initially expected.

 

Announcing the policy review in February, the government said it needed to consider whether, under a little-known European rule, public ferry services could be awarded to an in-house operator without the need for a tendering process.

 

However,  according to the Transport Minister this is proving more complicated than first imagined, and will require ‘more detailed consideration’.

 

The current Argyll Ferries contract was due to finish last month but, in February, was extended by nine months.

 

Now, Mr Yousaf says: “The level of engagement and detailed information required will almost certainly lead to an extended timeline to that initially envisaged for the full consideration and completion of the review. This will extend the timeline for the review beyond the autumn period, when a report on the emerging findings of the review is due for publication.

“This extension means that we will have to consider the implications for the next contracts for the Gourock-Dunoon and Northern Isles ferry services, and we will lay out the way forward for both contracts in due course.”

 

On the day of the announcement - and again today - Argyll Ferries’ MV Ali Cat was out of service after breaking down with, we understand, a gearbox problem. This is the latest in a series of technical issues with the two smalll, elderly vessels which operate the route.

 

It looks as if they may be here for a while yet...

 

More in next Friday's Standard.

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