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Where are we now?

Campbeltown Loch
Campbeltown Loch

Current Situation

In the aftermath of the debacle which left the area without this service the Scottish Office have continually confirmed their commitment to resurrecting the route (see the section on Scottish Office). However time has moved on considerably since the March 2000 announcement of the service suspension and there is still no sign of an operator being appointed. There is considerable concern in the local community that intransigence, indifference, incompetence, call it what you will, will lead to either a formal or informal abandonment of the route.

To add to the confusion, since the ferry destination lies outside of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament does not have sole control over the decision making process and has been involved with the Scottish and Northern Ireland executives.

Whatever, the various bodies' inability to come to a decision on what to do means that the success of any subsequent venture, should one be announced, becomes increasingly difficult to perceive. I know from enquiries I've personally received through this web site that a large number of people make travel arrangements at the end of the year prior to their planned trip. With that in mind the available information and commitment to any service needs to be clearly and visibly stated well in advance, and not two months prior to the commencement.

The Danish company Vestas who won the contract to build a wind farm manufacturing facility in Kintyre threatened to pull out of the area should the ferry service not continue. In a 2001 BBC2 Eorpa program, a Vestas spokesperson (speaking in Danish, dubbed into Gaelic and with English subtitles!) confirmed that if the ferry did not run they would need to reconsider their Kintyre location. He cited previous similar ventures where an initial workforce of 100 had grown tenfold. Given the Kintyre economic climate the prospect of losing this opportunity should have been ringing serious alarm bells somewhere within the corridors of power.

Ultimately Vestas did pull out, and whilst the manufacturing facility was taken over by Skykon, would Vestas have stayed, especially in light of their very public statement concerning the need for appropriate transportation links to the area?