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39 posts :: Page 2 of 5
By: ron (offline)  Tuesday, 17 November 2009  

Quote by: Spirit of Islay

I think the "Queen of the Hebrides" has a nice ring , it doesn't name it directly after an Island but we all know what it is !



I have added "Queen of the Hebrides" to the poll. I like it very much Big Grin


Quote by: Spirit of Islay

do you think Richard at Loch Fyne Whiskies would be chuffed at loosing his passing trade of people going to and from the Islay ferry ?



And what about all the B&B and shop owners in and around Tarbert. They can close their business when the ferry sails from Oban. This really is a very bad idea Confused

   

ron



Registered:: 06/15/06

Posts: 595
By: Spirit of Islay (offline)  Tuesday, 17 November 2009  

It's nice to see that "Queen of the Hebrides" has gotten nearly a quarter of the votes !

I can't believe that with all this going on a report comes out saying that there should be one hub for the lower hebridean isles , why do they think Oban is so important ? I hope this report is thrown in the bin ASAP !


Our visits to the Hebridean Isle of Islay
http://islayvisits.wordpress.com/

   

Spirit of Islay



Registered:: 03/04/07

Posts: 75
By: ron (offline)  Tuesday, 17 November 2009  

Quote by: Spirit of Islay

I can't believe that with all this going on a report comes out saying that there should be one hub for the lower hebridean isles , why do they think Oban is so important ? I hope this report is thrown in the bin ASAP !



Gordon, If I were a member of the Ferries Review with little knowlegde of an island community and with a mission to save many pounds, now and in the future, I would probably write a similar report. Let's hope the people that have to accept the outcome of the report live in the west of Scotland, preferrably on an island, and show some common sense. But lots of money and common sense often don't come hand in hand. Rolling Eyes

   

ron



Registered:: 06/15/06

Posts: 595
By: henri (offline)  Tuesday, 17 November 2009  

Big Grin

Queen of The Hebrides has no historical significance but it does sound good. Would not be my choice though.

Saving money to maintain shareholder's bank accounts and to look good on the stock market comes always before the good of the general public, never mind if the plan is whacky. Oban will not work very well but you are going to hear that it is for everyone's good, never mind having to sleep in your car waiting for a storm to pass. Where are they going to park all those vehicles.

The same applies for the demise of Islay's bank manager. That's one idiotic move.:( Maybe the Hebrides can start their own bank some day. With umpteen distilleries on the island, a new bank would have no problems to find clients.

Henri


Henri
   

henri




Registered:: 09/12/07

Posts: 29
By: Dhmellor (offline)  Thursday, 19 November 2009  

Gordon, If I were a member of the Ferries Review with little knowlegde of an island community and with a mission to save many pounds, now and in the future, I would probably write a similar report.



No doubt there would be savings made from closing Kennacraig and Port Ellen, but obviously you would have to offset against these the additional fuel and other running costs because of the longer journey from Oban. Not to mention the additional staff and other running costs at Oban and Port Askaig. So I'm not convinced there would be a huge net saving - and anyway, what about the additional greenhouse gas emissions. Frown

It may be that there are other areas of the Hebrides that have more to fear from the Ferry Review - Mull (which has three ferry routes), and the Western Isles, which have five.

   

Dhmellor



Registered:: 09/22/07

Posts: 13
By: ron (offline)  Thursday, 19 November 2009  

Quote by: Dhmellor

Not to mention the additional staff and other running costs at Oban and Port Askaig.



I agree for the larger part Dave although on the part of the additional staff I don't agree with you. I think closing down ferry ports will mean less staff and I also think they won't need extra staff in Oban. Everything is in place there already, ticket office, the lot. And it will be cheaper and more efficient to have Calmac staff in one ferry port on Islay than two although I hate to say this. I almost sound like someone from the ferries review.... brrrrrr Confused

Let's hope that this discussion will soon be history and that the outcome of the report will be massively ignored by the decision makers! Cool

   

ron



Registered:: 06/15/06

Posts: 595
By: Dhmellor (offline)  Thursday, 19 November 2009  

OK, let's try a few sums. This is all very rough and ready, but bear with me!

The financial impact of switching all Islay ferries to Oban would presumably come from three main areas:

1. Closing Kennacraig and transferring the mainland 'end' to Oban.
2. Closing Port Ellen and transferring the Islay 'end' to Port Askaig
3. Increases in fuel costs because of the longer distance from Oban

Now let's try a very approximate estimate:

1. The main area of cost savings at Kennacraig would be staff costs. Although many staff will be part-time and/or on shifts, let's guess that there are, say 10 'full-time equivalent' staff at Kennacraig, earning an average of £20,000 per year. (I suspect that both these figures are on the top side). Add oncosts (NI, pension contributions etc) at, say, 20%, and that gives total staff costs at Kennacraig of 240K per year. The running costs of the buildings will not be great, but let's be generous here too, and estimate these at 60K. So toal recurrent savings produced by closing Kennacraig might be 300K per year.

2. Savings at Port Ellen are less easy to estimate, as they will be significantly offset by the need to staff Port Askaig for much longer hours than at present, so many displaced Port Ellen staff would probably be offered redeployment to Port Askaig. But let's be generous again, and hazard a guess that by closing Port Ellen, Calmac might save 50% of what they save on the mainland - 150K per year.

3. Fuel costs. Currently the full Calmac Islay timetable has 26 return journeys per week, each of an average of, say, 2 hours 15 minutes duration. That is a weekly total sailing time of 117 hours. This means an annual total of 6,084 hours. Knock off a few for Christmas and Hogmanay, and we can round it down to 6,000 hours sailing per year. A standard Calmac ferry such as LOTI has a fuel consumption of 500 litres of diesel per hour. That makes a staggering 3 million litres of diesel per year used on the Islay ferries!

Now the run from Oban is approximately half as long again as the journey from Kennacraig - 3 hours 30 mins sailing as opposed to 2 hours 15. So if the number of sailings remains unchanged at 52 per week, that will mean a straight 50% increase in fuel costs.

As far as I know marine diesel is now subject to fuel duty at the same rate as the stuff we put in our cars, so it's now over £1 per litre. So the impact on fuel costs of switching from Kennacraig to Oban could be an increase of £1.5 million

Overall then, this very crude calculation suggests that the impact of switching Islay ferries to Oban could be to reduce running costs by 450K per year and increase fuel costs by 1.5 million per year - a net increase of over £1 million per year.

Obviously the above is extremely rough and ready, not to mention abstract and theoretical, but even if the new ferry is more fuel efficient, and/or there are fewer journeys because of its greater capacity, it still looks like a no-brainer to me!

   

Dhmellor



Registered:: 09/22/07

Posts: 13
By: ron (offline)  Thursday, 19 November 2009  

Dave,

I think you made quite a good calculation but I'm afraid there is one thing that you forgot so I want to try a few sums with you now... Wink

Both Kennacraig AND Port Ellen need a major reconstruction before the new ferry arrives in 2011 which will cost £38m for both ports. This investment will be written off in about 20 to 25 years, I'm guessing here but it won't be too far from the truth. This means that the annual costs to write off the ferry port investments will be around £1.5 million per year.

So by NOT spending £38m now they can save around £0.5 million per year. Eek!

Now that would change everything wouldn't it? Rolling Eyes

   

ron



Registered:: 06/15/06

Posts: 595
39 posts :: Page 2 of 5