THE article on the Dunoon ferry hit the nail on the head, the issue is Transport Scotland (Dunoon has that sinking feeling over ‘completely unreliable’ ferry service, The National, April 6).

The expensive ferry fiasco was both predictable and avoidable, so why did Transport Scotland let it happen.

Two official reports had concluded that large vessels were required to operate on the often stormy Firth, yet Transport Scotland ignored them. They did this in the full knowledge that a small vessel, the MV Ali Cat, already running on the crossing, was proving the reports correct by being unable to cope with the weather. So poor was the Ali Cat that following a safety incident, which prompted questions in Westminster, she was banned from using Dunoon pier if the waves were not much more than knee high.

Still Transport Scotland persisted with their tender that permitted small vessels and Argyll Ferry Services was born using, you guessed it, the MV Ali Cat. This was a boat whose certification meant that it could only sail in “fine clear settled weather with a sea state such as to cause only moderate rolling and/or pitching”. The other boat was not much better. What kind of due diligence did Transport Scotland perform on the tender bids?

Dunoon, home to Scotland’s first vehicle ferry service, went from having a reliable commuter vehicle ferry service to having a passenger-only service that was to prove more expensive to run and which could be completely off for several days at a time. The effects were swift, passenger numbers to Dunoon’s main annual event the Cowal Games immediately plummeted. They now stand at just one-third of what they were when the reliable Streakers operated.

For the last seven years Transport Scotland have been responsible for project managing delivery of a tender for a replacement service, they have achieved nothing.

The Scottish Government needs to honour past promises and ensure that Civil Servants delivery on official policy which is still to have a vehicle ferry service operating to the town centre.

It is very clear where the public interest lies.
R Trybis

DAVID Simpson describes George Kerevan’s Keynesian public investment ideas as “an old superstition” and calls it “printing money” (Letters, The National, April 10).

He claims that this policy was tried by central banks and failed. I think he is confusing it with Quantitative Easing, which is something entirely different.

What perhaps David does not recognise is that in the present private banking system in the UK is creating money supply running at 9% per annum, while GDP is averaging less than 2%.

So his lecture against governments printing too much money should be directed to the UK banking system that is where the problem is. This problem, which Mervyn King calls “alchemy”, but which we might call “making money out of thin air”, or more simply corruption, and which led to the financial crisis, is still with us.

On the other hand, if David looks back to the Attlee government period (1945-51) he will find a government which did increase the money supply significantly (printed money), while at the same time increasing real GDP and reducing national debt while building national assets.

David should have a wee word with his friend George and I would suggest he does more listening than talking.
Andy Anderson

I AM no economist, but wouldn’t we be using a new Scots pound and sterling for some time post-independence? That is that both currencies would run alongside each other. Mortgages and pensions are in sterling and I assume any change here would take time. Otherwise would we not use any Scots currency?

Andrew Wilson’s Growth Report suggests six tests before introducing a Scots currency – I would think this would be hard to sell on the doorstep. Economics, like any art form, is a two-way process and craft. Scotland would need to build confidence by offering stable policies and strong economic institutions.

On Brexit – surely there is no solution, that’s the real problem here! Some are going to be isappointed, there is no denying, its just a question of who that will be. Its either a fudge Brexit, of neither in or out, or one of reform that changes the structure of this clearly failing United Kingdom. That’s my view.

Confidence helps the economy and we should therefore introduce a Scots pound right away in my view. No voters or those on the fence may well say “what’s the point of independence if there is little change? Why bother. What’s it really for?”

Surely Scottish independence and a Scots currency is about having control of our own resources and unique concerns. Any Scots currency is a vital part of this.
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