The same Serco who are making a complete balls up of the Scottish sleeper service?
Outsourcing to these vultures just doesn't work for the public, but it does for shareholders and officials who get brown envelopes....
Brit outsourcing giant Serco was today named preferred bidder for a six-year £450m ferry and freight services contract between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney and Shetland islands. Serco has been running the service since 2012 and there is an option for Scottish ministers to extend the new contract for a further two years …
I used the ferry service to orkney a year after they took over. It wasn't too bad, in the sense that it ran. But it was definately cut to the bone wrt facilities. Not sure how much else they could trim short of tossing the engines over the sides to save fuel and getting the passengers and crew to row.
I will say though that my gf at the time left her phone onboard, a member of staff found it and put it in lost property instead of pocketing it (was an old nokia dumbphone, no password) and we got it back a few days after contacting them and paying for postage so top marks for that.
Would you like another go at that?
CalMac used to run lots of ferries even if this particular one wasn't one of theirs.
Running ferries isn't natural territory for Serco, b*ggering up services is what Serco do best.
Are CalMac still around, and if so what makes Serco preferable to CalMac?
Calmac are still around and working well... at least they were last June when I took the ferry from Oban to Mull and then Tobermorey to Kilchoan (Ardnamurchan) where it was just a few locals returning from doing their Saturday shopping and me on my Motorcycle.
To the locals, CalMac are essential to their way of life and treat them as something akin to a bus service. In many places, the bus meets the ferry. If the Ferry is late, the bus runs late.
Incorrect. Serco leased the old trains from one of the rolling stock companies just like the service they replaced. However, if you think that sleepers that are 40 years old are ok, then by all means, but Serco thought it was definitely time to drag the trains into the 21st century. CAF definitely screwed the pooch (despite intensive testing in the Czech Republic) with glitchy carriages (most people love the new sleeper carriages) and some of the errors in training have led to some... safety issues. That is on Serco to address.
It is the SNP's goal.
However, it is important to remember that while the SNP may be the most effective single organisation in getting an independent Scotland, it may struggle with governing an independent Scotland.
I am not questioning their competence, but rather their ability to maintain their popularity (and therefore, their ability to win elections) once their primary goal is achieved.
(Analogously, what do you think will happen to Cancer Research's donations if a workable cure for cancer is discovered?)
In summary, both those who support and oppose the SNP should not expect it to be relatively as powerful as it is now if it achieves its primary goal - its post-independence policies are aspirations, which should not be regarded as as deliverable as its election-to-election policies within the UK.
Actually no, the Northlink boats are owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), which was split out from Caledonian MacBrayne a few years ago to comply with EU rules on competition.
CMAL also own all of CalMac’s vessels as well as much of their port infrastructure, as well as being allowed to bid for commercial work (I believe they operate a port somewhere in Hampshire too), in order to support the finances of the clearly loss making business of maintaining docks on remote Scottish islands.
No stranger to UK waters...
for instance, they provide the tugs to escort Big Lizzie into and out of port
"Serco manages lifeline ferry services on behalf of our government customers"
Nothing THAT fancy - probably more of the SH_ITSO standard HOPS-based infrastructure that RageCoach and others have deployed nationwide to the pain of passengers e.g. on EMT, and to the level of ineffectiveness/loss-making that lost RageCoach their SouthWest Trains contract after 20 years. Handy440 anyone?
Ha! Serco won't be laughing when Spaffer Johnson builds a bridge to the Northern Isles.
I have always held the view that politicians + technology don't make for a happy outcome. Hitherto "technology" has always been of the IT variety, but it seems sensible to include civil engineering in the mix now. Even BJ's very small scale garden bridge across the Thames was "a bridge too far".
(With apologies for conflating it with the 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden at Arnhem.)
"When in doubt, erect a Boris bridge… "
"Why do Boris Johnson’s distraction tactics always seem to involve unfeasible engineering projects?"
All the time, Pentland Ferries are quicker and cheaper (to Orkney - don't serve Shetland) https://www.pentlandferries.co.uk/ A damn sight more comfortable and less spew-inducing than Serco's floating bricks. The book, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pentland-Hero-Roy-N-Pedersen/dp/1841588881 about their boss's creation of the route is great. It includes a stinging critique of the cozy relationship between the Scottish "Government" (the one that thought up the crazy Named Person scheme and who think that Independence is a magic bullet and will solve all woes - like, er, Brexit is a magic bullet and solves all woes?) and the big ferry companies. A good read of itself, anyway, if you're "for" the little man.
Scottish minister Paul Wheelhouse said islanders will get a 20 per cent discount on cabin fares on Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick routes from January. There will also be a three-year fares freeze for islander passengers, non-commercial vehicles and cabins on those routes.
Aye, tes a handsome discount and no mistake; but mind you this, any lowering to a less generous deduction than 20% and the Islanders will be using their wee helicopters to boycott the ferry.
They rarely learnt to swim in the old days.
Particularly with shopping.
Currently Scrabster-Stromness is £17.05-£19.90 per adult and £8.60 to £10 per kid, and then an extra £54-60 per standard car and thats a single, so high season (yes its more expensive when the ferry is more full)
the nuclear familly two adults, two kids in a car both ways is £199.80 and you still need to get to scrabster and pay for accomodation the other side.
then as per all outsourcers, everything else is extra.
Pentland ferries get no subsidies and run a cheaper ferry from Gills Bay,
One could only imagine what prices they could charge if they got the subsidies Serco are raking in
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