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Remove irrelevant, inconvient and costly TRANSEC rules

Comment 24th July 2010

Repeal regulations made by TRANSEC that require shore ticketing on the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry crossing to Dunoon but not on the Western Ferries crossing that is perfoming the same function.

Repeal any similar regulations that exist on any other inland ferry crossings anywhere in the UK.

Investigate the effectivness of TRANSEC and get rid of the dead wood.

Why does this matter?

TRANSEC are responsible for transport security across all forms of transport. Because the word "security" is used its edicts are often not subject to question – a very serious mistake.

TRANSEC implements legislation but in ways that can be totally irrelevant to security, inconvenient to the travelling public and costly.

A good example are the 20 minute ferry crossings to Dunoon. There are two services, one run by Western Ferries crosses between Hunters Quay and Macinroy's Point. The other run by Caledonian MacBrayne runs between Dunoon town centre and Gourock. Both services carry passengers and vehicles and are essentially performing the same function.

It used to be possible to board both services and purchase tickets for your journey onboard. In its wisdom TRANSEC deemed that users of the Caledonian MacBrayne service must purchase tickets prior to boarding vessels though, and TRANSEC itself admits this is an "anomaly",  Western Ferry users do not.

This totally useless regulation means that people using Caledonian MacBrayne have a very significant percentage increase in their total journey time as they have to buy tickets prior to boarding instead of during the crossing. It is inconvenient as tickets are checked on the pier in inclement weather prior to boarding. It is costly because previously crew onboard vessels could sell tickets but now staff have to be employed on-shore to sell and check tickets.

How does this rule aid security? The simple answer is that it is totally irrelvant. It is true that if you drive a vehicle you have to give your vehicle make and registration number when buying a ticket. However nobody checks this when the vehicle boards the vessel (would you on a dark, cold, windy Scottish morning?). Even if tickets were checked vehicles are not searched so what is the point? Don't forget Western Ferries are making the same crossing without this imperative security regulation and the Erskine and Kingston bridges also cross the Clyde.

This regulation is meaningless, costly bureaucracy. If it in any way typifies the quality of work done by TRANSEC then there is probably a lot of dead wood that can be cut away there. Of course they have the screen of "security" which they can and do to hide behind.

 

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