Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service: Feasibility Study of a Future Passenger and Vehicle Service with the Vehicle Portion being non-Subsidised

Final Report for Transport Scotland
In Association with The Maritime Group (International) Limited

ISBN 978 1 908181 92 3

This document is also available in pdf format (2.2 MB)



1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Route History
1.3 An Incremental Approach
1.4 Argyll Ferries
1.5 The Gourock-Dunoon Market
1.6 Structure of Report

2 Consultation
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Consultations
2.3 Consultation Event
2.4 Questionnaire Returns
2.5 Other Emerging Issues

3 Socio-Economic Context
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Socio-Economic Data
3.3 Impact of Vehicle Ferry Withdrawal

4 Vessel Specification
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Service Restrictions
4.3 Upper Firth of Clyde Weather
4.4 Tides and Tidal Flow
4.5 Significant Wave height
4.6 Wave Frequency, Period and Length
4.7 Vessel selection for the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Route.
4.8 Infrastructure
4.9 Vessel Outline Specifications and Estimated Operating Budgets
4.10 Noted Suggestions

5 Route Data
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Route Carryings
5.3 Who Uses these Ferries?
5.4 Revenue

6 Route Demand Projections
6.1 Introduction

6.2 Developing Scenarios

7 Incremental Cost and Revenue Scenarios
7.1 Overview of Approach
7.2 Choice Modelling
7.3 Financial Modelling
7.4 Subsidy

8 Sensitivity Tests
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Crewing Sensitivity Test
8.3 Gross Tonnage Sensitivity Test
8.4 Harbour Dues Sensitivity Test
8.5 Competitive Response - What If? Tests
8.6 Summary

9 Summary and Conclusions

Further Information and Contact Addresses


Table 4.1 Proposed Vessel Characteristics
Table 4.2 Approximate Proposed Vessel Operational Costs
Table 5.1 Estimate of Foot / Vehicle based passengers
Table 5.2 Cowal Ferries Outturn Revenue per Trip
Table 7.1 Estimated vehicle-based market shares for potential town centre service
Table 7.2 15-year incremental revenue by vessel / growth scenario
Table 7.3 Annual incremental fuel and other vessel costs
Table 7.4 Berthing Dues discounts at Gourock
Table 7.5 Annual berthing dues, 2017 onwards, two-vessels, FP and V&P services
Table 7.6 Annual berthing dues, 2017 onwards, three-vessels, FP and V&P services
Table 7.7 Annual berthing dues, 2017 onwards, WF parity, FP and V&P services
Table 7.8 Pier Dues (paid on embarking and disembarking) 2012/13
Table 7.9 15-year Pier Dues estimates by scenario
Table 7.10 Overall 15-year incremental costs and revenue summary
Table 7.11 Foot-passenger Service Subsidy Estimates
Table 8.1 Sensitivity Test 1: Additional Crew
Table 8.2 Sensitivity Test 2a: Low Passenger & Vehicle Vessel GT
Table 8.3 Sensitivity Test 2b: High Passenger & Vehicle Vessel GT
Table 8.4 Sensitivity Test 3: Pier / Harbour Dues
Table 8.5 What If Test 1a: Western Ferries Fares Reduction
Table 8.6 What If Test 1b: Western Ferries Fares Reduction / Operator Parity
Table 8.7 What If Test 2: Western Ferries Frequency Increase


Figure 1.1 Transfer of volumes from CalMac / Cowal to Western Ferries
Figure 2.1 Respondent Home Postcodes
Figure 2.2 Respondents' Choice of Ferry Service
Figure 2.3 Respondents' Journey Purposes
Figure 2.4 Respondents' Journey Destinations
Figure 2.5 Respondents' Mode of Travel on Ferry
Figure 2.6 Respondents' Ticket Type
Figure 2.7 Multi-Journey Ticket Purchase Locations
Figure 2.8 Respondents' Reasons for Choice of Ferry Service
Figure 2.9 Respondents' Change in Ferry Use Since July 2011
Figure 2.10 Most Important Factors for Respondents in their Potential Use of a New Town Centre to Town Centre Passenger and vehicle Service
Figure 3.1 Economic Activity Rates (2001)
Figure 3.2 Employment by Occupation (2001)
Figure 3.3 Level of Qualifications (2001)
Figure 3.4 JSA Claimants (March 2013)
Figure 3.5 SIMD, Cowal (2012 Dataset)
Figure 3.6 Local Demographics (2011)
Figure 3.7 Income and Employment Deprivation (2008)
Figure 3.8 SNS Key Benefits Claimants - Dunoon and Argyll & Bute
Figure 5.1 Gourock-Dunoon and Other CalMac Routes, 2011 Passengers
Figure 5.2 Route Volumes 1992-2011, Passengers
Figure 5.3 Route Volumes 1992-2011, Cars
Figure 5.4 Gourock-Dunoon Town Centre Route - Total Sailings by Year
Figure 5.5 Gourock-Dunoon and the Clyde Network Volumes
Figure 5.6 CalMac Routes - Car Growth 2001-11
Figure 5.7 CalMac Network Trends 2001-11
Figure 5.8 Cowal / Argyll Foot-passenger Data, 2005-12
Figure 5.9 Cowal / Argyll Passenger Data, 1990-2012
Figure 6.1 Total Route Passenger Projections, 2015-29
Figure 6.2 Total Route Cars Projections, 2015-29
Figure 6.3 Market Share, 2010
Figure 7.1 Two vessel annual incremental revenue estimates, by demand scenario
Figure 8.1 Relationship between GT and Berthing Dues
Figure 8.2 Summary of 15-year, Scenarios 2 and 3 Net Revenues

Document Control

Project Title:

Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Service - Feasibility Study of a Future Passenger and Vehicle Service with the Vehicle Portion being non-Subsidised

MVA Project Number:


Document Type:

Final Report

Directory & File Name:

D:\Gourock Dunoon\Report\20130628 Gourock Dunoon Report FINAL.Docx


Document Approval

Primary Author:

Scott Leitham

Other Author(s):

Paul McCartney, Malcolm Parrott, Alexander Wilson, Stephen Canning


Paul McCartney

Formatted by:

Nicola Milne









Transport Scotland

Initial Draft



Transport Scotland & Steering Group

Draft Report



Transport Scotland

Initial Final Draft Report



Transport Scotland & Steering Group

Final Draft Report



Transport Scotland & Steering Group

Final Report


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Published Date 16 Jul 2013 Type Mode of transport