Floating on a sea of dreams

January 26, 2009

Plan To Launch Waterbus Service On Clyde from The Herald
Waterbuses similar to those plying the waters dividing New York could succeed if introduced to the River Clyde, with demand growing as the number of destinations increase, a year-long study has found.

The £100,000 report, which looked at similar operations in Amsterdam, Sydney, New York, London and Hamburg, found that a Clyde waterbus or ferry service between Glasgow city centre and Rothesay on Bute would attract both commuters and leisure customers.

It could even extend to Arrochar, at the top end of Loch Long, and revitalise Clydeside towns such as Bowling, which has been identified as an interchange for the vessels.

This slightly silly idea has been floating around for ages. I’ve noticed that it’s particularly popular with people who refuse to believe in the existence of a railway network in this country. Note that pretty much every destination mentioned in the news story already has a rail connection.

Now, of course additional ferry services would be great. A usable Helensburgh-Kilcreggan-Gourouck ferry would rock, for example. And I’ve long advocated, to anyone who would listen, the idea of a ferry link between Kintyre and Ayrshire.

But creating a whole second ferry service from Rothsay… one that’s slower than the present system? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And do these guys realise just how long Loch Long is?

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