It gets worse
The "New" vessel for the Gourock-Dunoon route actually
has a smaller capacity than the Ali Cat
The garbage (sorry
press release) that the Government released said "The Argyll
Ferries bid offers a bigger and faster vessel, providing capacity
for up to 244 people and complementing a smaller alternate boat.
Between them the vessels will provide a service of half hour frequency
on the route".
As I first pointed out in my website through the public
tender notice, the Ali Cat is the "smaller aternate"
vessel and what is presently called MV Banrion Chonomara is the
"bigger" vessel. It specifications are here
But Ali Cat's capacity at 250 passengers is actually slightly more
than Banrion Chonomara. And a sharp-eyed Innellan resident pointed
out to me that while Banrion Chonomara's capacity is 244 passengers,
it only has saloon seating for 120 passengers
You want to see where the likely difference comes from? Have a
look at this picture
of Ali Cat with happy smiling people on the top deck
Of course that top deck is not used by Ali Cat on the Clyde, alfresco
commuting in a January gale not being something that even this Government
would condemn its users to. It looks like the reason for the discrepancy
between capacity and saloon seating for Banrion Chonomara is likely
be similar to Ali Cat - about half of its capacity looks like it
will be on an open top deck that will never be used.
To all intents and purposes this is another Ali Cat.
I did not think this Government could stoop any lower with their
unrelenting lies and misrepresentations but they never fail to surprise
Neil Kay 29th May 2011