Renfrew – Yoker ferry to stay
As ferries around the country tend to disappear – and maybe they should be doing the opposite given all the calls to be “green” and not waste fuel – there was good news for the small ferry service which operates on the River Clyde and connects Renfrew and Yoker.
The ferry has existed in various forms for about 500 years, and the latest proposal was to replace the tow existing craft, the Renfrew Rose and the Yoker Swan (which have been in service for 24 years) with a bridge. Having funded a three month, £60,000 feasibility study, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has determined that replacing the service with a foot bridge could cost between £11 and £15 million.
SPT are now to examine proposals to buy a smaller vessel, with the capacity for 12 passengers, and would cost up to £1 million with an annual subsidy of £400,000 per year. The current service is described as carrying four passengers per typical journey at a subsidy of £2.77 per head, with a total annual carrying of 150,000 passengers.
Worries have been expressed at the switch to a single vessel, however SPT have said the service will include contingency plans in the event of failure, and that they have operated a single craft on the longer Kilcreggan services without any problems to date.
Although the current ferry is popular with local users, the review was prompted by the increasing age of the vessels, which are becoming increasingly costly to maintain, and could also be reaching the end of their useful lives – in terms of remaining certifiable.
The river crossing is only about 200 metres, and does not operate to a fixed timetable. The crew can see when passengers are in need of the services, which operates daily between 06:30 and 21:30, except Sunday, when the hours are 10:00 and 18:30, and in 2008 cost £1.10 for a single adult journey.
Old Renfrew Ferry
The current small ferries replaced the previous larger, chain operated craft, and their service which ended in May1984, and which was captured in the selected pic to the right.