Oban 2 Calmac ferries pass close together in Oban Bay.

Calmac Ferries have been awarded the contract for the Kilcreggan-Gourock route.  Picture by Bill Heaney

By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Helensburgh and Lomond, has welcomed the news that the Kilcreggan – Gourock ferry service will now be operated by the Scottish Government through Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) on 1 June 2020.

This comes at the end of a long campaign by local residents to secure the future of the service after years of uncertainty.

The Kilcreggan Ferry service had been dogged with difficulties under a previous contractor who failed to ensure that the service was reliable and sustainable for local people.

The service was transferred to Clyde Marine in 2018 and, since then, passengers began to see positive changes.

Jackie Baillie has worked alongside the local community from the start, campaigning for a better, sustainable ferry service.

Labour’s Jackie Baillie and Paul Wheelhouse of the SNP.

Having raised the issues surrounding the ferry service on a number of occasions with SPT, in the Scottish Parliament and in private meetings with Government ministers, Ms Baillie repeatedly called for the service to be taken into Scottish Government control to place it in line with other ferry services.

Jackie Baillie said: “After years of campaigning and great uncertainty, I am delighted that the future of the Kilcreggan ferry has finally been secured.

“My thanks go to Hamish Munro and the team at Clyde Marine for keeping the service going since 2018 and to all the local residents who never stopped fighting for what is an essential mode of transport.

“I would also like to thank Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, for the helpful and constructive discussions that we have had over the last year about the ferry. His cooperation has helped achieve the future security of the service.

“Finally, it goes to show that campaigning and determination pay off. When our local community stands together we are irresistible!”

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