TRANSPORT chiefs have denied claims that a ferry started sailing while still tethered to a pier.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) were responding after MSP Jackie Baillie said passengers had reported that Kilcreggan to Gourock vessel Island Princess began to leave Kilcreggan with a rope attached to the shore.
She called on SPT “to get a grip” over operator Clydelink’s handling of the route which has been disrupted a number of times since the company took over and has been suspended most of today (Friday) because of windy weather.
She said: “Since SPT awarded the tender to Clydelink in April it has been one thing after another blighting this service. I urge SPT to call for a full investigation into this matter. It is clear that awarding a contract based on lowest cost does not prove for a reliable and fully functional service.”
Commenting on the latest incident, one local resident said: “The boat was actually stopped by the rope. By the shouts of the crew it appeared that there was little control of the boat. After several minutes we moved back to the pier where the rope was removed.”
An SPT spokesperson said: “We are aware of passenger comments which are being widely reported out of context. SPT takes the safety of passengers very seriously. We understand that bad weather at the time caused the boat to drift and the operator assured us that the rope was deliberately left in place as an added security measure. As the engine wasn’t engaged at the time that was entirely appropriate. The service then continued as usual.”