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Western Ferries

Written by Roy Pedersen / with Brian Wilson


158 in stock

Free UK Delivery
ISBN: 9781780272702
Published: 22 Jun 2015
Format: Paperback
Extent: 208
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Birlinn
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About the Book

In the late 1960s, drawing on Scandinavian experience, Western Ferries pioneered roll-on roll off ferry operations in Scotland's West Highlands and Islands. This innovative company's original focus, was Islay, where its hitherto undreamt of frequency of service transformed that island's access to the outside world. The company's profitable and efficient operation was, however, deliberately sabotaged by heavily subsidised predatory pricing by the feather-bedded state owned competitor. This shameful policy, initiated at the highest political level, has been uncovered by recently released official correspondence held in the Scottish archives. The Islay service eventually succumbed, but the company's service across the Firth of Clyde between Inverclyde and Cowal, not only survived, but, in the face of many challenges, flourished to become by far Scotland's busiest and most profitable ferry route. Its modern cherry red ferries run like clockwork, from early till late, 365 days a year, employing some 60 people locally. It contributes much back into the community it serves including free emergency runs, whenever required, in the middle of the night.What made all this possible was the extraordinary dedication of a succession of enthusiastic, determined and above all colourful individuals.
This is their story.

The Author

Roy Pedersen

Roy Pedersen graduated from Aberdeen University. He has spent most of his working life in Inverness in economic, social and cultural development with HIDB and HIE, and more recently as proprietor of a consultancy business covering the diverse fields of transport and cultural development. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Transport.