Both sides of Cowal Peninsula are linked by a subsidised ferry that travels between Dunoon town centre and Gourock town centre. It is operated by Argyll Ferries Ltd (AFL) on behalf of Scottish Ministers. AFL were awarded a six-year contract in June 2011 to operate this service. This contract has been extended by 9 months.
The Steering Group was starting by Alex Neil MSP and helps to keep the service accountable to Scottish Ministers. It is currently chaired by Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and Islands.
Minutes of meetings
MVA Consultancy and The Maritime Group carried out a feasibility study of a future passenger and vehicle service with the vehicle service portion being non-subsidised. Their report Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service: Feasibility Study has been published.
A number of Technical Notes informed the final report and have also been published. These technical notes were work-in-progress and presented initial analysis which was subsequently revised in the light of new information and comments received.
Following the completion of the Feasibility Study, the Scottish Government completed a market engagement exercise with potential operators. This will inform our future policy and procurement options and you can read the Market Engagement for the Gourock Dunoon Ferry Service report. Our aim is to provide long-term solutions for improving travel between the two towns.
The consensus is that for route reliability to improve, the service needs more suitable vessels. It is likely that new, purpose-built tonnage will be required.
A paper considering the options open to the Scottish Ministers under the relevant EU legislation and guidelines Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service – Vessel Procurement has been published.
Following a competitive tendering process, on 7 June 2011 AFL was awarded a six-year contract to operate this ferry service. This contract has been extended by 9 months.
The contract runs from June 2011 until March 2018.
View the contract, minute of extension and variations.
The procurement for the next contract, post 2018, has been paused to allow adequate time for the policy review to be carried out.
Freedom of Information requests
In response to a Freedom of Information request asking for advice received from David MacBrayne Ltd on the use of the MV Coruisk on the Gourock-Dunoon route, the following response has been made available.
In response to a Freedom of Information request asking for information regarding RET fares, the following response has been made available.
In response to a Freedom of Information request asking for information regarding the MVA study, the concept of a “defensible subsidy” and the position of the European Commission, the following response has been made available.
In response to a Freedom of Information request asking for information regarding Harbour dues at Gourock and Dunoon, the following response has been made available.