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Govan Ferry sails again

Govan Ferry sails again (© Evening Times)

A ferry service is to operate cross the Clyde at Govan for the first time in almost
half a century.

It will provide a regular crossing from the historic shipyard area to the new
Riverside Museum on the banks of Yorkhill Quay. Glasgow City Council has
given the go-ahead for pontoons to be built on either side of the river and for
a major upgrade to be carried out to the approach to the pontoon in Govan.

As well as being used by passenger ferries, the pontoons may in future be
expanded to accommodate the River Clyde seaplane. The work has been
welcomed by Govan councillor John Flanagan who believes it will help the
regeneration of the area.

A passenger ferry crossing at Govan first started in 1734. By 1900 it carried
vehicles but was withdrawn in 1965 when the Clyde Tunnel opened. A small
passenger ferry on the same route closed the following year. The new ferry
service will allow people from across the city to take the Subway to Govan
and then cross the water to the Riverside Museum.

Mr Flanagan said: “The pontoon will be at Water Row at Govan Cross and the
station will be the closest Underground station to the new museum. There may
also be ferries up and down the river which would recover the link between
Govan and the city centre.”

Improvements are also to be carried out on the approach to the new pontoon
in Govan. Water Row, which extends from Govan Road to the former ferry
crossing point and east along the river front, will be re-laid with a mix of Caithness
stone and granite setts, and stainless steel street furniture will be installed.

The overgrown area around the former ferry crossing will be cleared and the
unsightly high fence removed. Council bosses have issued a tender for the
pontoons on both sides of the river and expect work to start in the middle of

A second tender has been issued for an operator to run the ferry service with
the hope it will be in operation early in May this year. A council spokesman
said: “People can drive to Govan or take the subway and then have an interesting
journey to the Riverside Museum by taking the ferry. It could be part of the
fun of getting to the museum and will offer a spectacular view of the front of
the building from the water. At the moment, it is not everyone who can get the
chance to use the river.”

George Redmond, chairman of Glasgow Life, said excitement is already mounting
over the new museum which is due to open early summer next year. He said:
“A lot of people are already checking our website, phoning or emailing us to see
when the museum is going to open, so anything which increases its accessibility
is very welcome.”

When ferries kept Glasgow going

The Govan Ferry is just one of a number which used to take passengers and
vehicles up and down the river as well as across it. A map from the 1850s shows
that at that time around 10 services plied their trade on the river, keeping Glasgow
and its residents on the move.

Ferry services operated between York Street and West Street, Clyde Street and
Springfield Quay, Hydepark Street and Springfield Quay, Finnieston Quay and
Mavisbank Quay, Yorkhill Quay and Princes Dock, Ferry Road and Water Row,
Meadowside Street in Partick and Holm Street in Govan, James Street in Whiteinch
and Holmfauld Road in Linthouse, Yoker and Renfrew, and Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

The Renfrew to Yoker ferry was set up in the 1790s and 40 years later there was
a service operating around the clock. Earlier this year, Strathclyde Partnership for
Transport decided to shut the ferry down because of lack of passengers but it
was taken over by Silvers Marine, which continues to provide a service.

Clyde Navigation Trust acquired the Erskine Ferry in 1911 and added a vehicle
ferry boat to the old passenger service from Erskine to Old Kilpatrick. The service
closed in 1971 when the newly built Erskine Bridge opened.

In 1884, the navigation trust introduced the Whiteinch service which ran passenger
services up and down the river. Around 14 years later, there were 12 ferries stopping
at 10 landing stages between the city centre and Whiteinch.

The service was withdrawn in 1903 because it could not compete with the cheap
and efficient tram and railway services which were by then running along the riverside.

James H

Fantastic, ah so many times I took the ferry across the Clyde when I felt like dogging school for the day.  Most of the time I ended up in Kelvingrove Art Galleries.  Got me a top class education in dinosaur skeletons and a couple of 'O' levels in stuffed animals and Egyptian mummies    

Feel like I'm gonna take the day off work soon

Brilliant !

Now, if only they give the tender to a Clydeside Ship Builder (even a very small one if any are left) to replicate the wee ferry in James' picture for the run, that'd be fantastic !


tombro wrote:
Brilliant !

Now, if only they give the tender to a Clydeside Ship Builder (even a very small one if any are left) to replicate the wee ferry in James' picture for the run, that'd be fantastic !


That would be Ferguson shipbuilders in Port Glasgow

Re: Govan Ferry sails again

Ferry link for museum (© Evening Times)

A daily ferry service will operate between Govan and the new Riverside Museum
from May this year.

It will be the first time in almost 50 years passengers will be able to cross the
Clyde from the historic shipyard area. On Thursday, city councillors are expected
to agree the service should be operated by Greenock-based Clyde Marine Services.

The company was established in 1913 to provide a 24-hour ship-to-shore service
for vessels on the Clyde. Five operators expressed an interest in running the
new service but only two tendered. The ferry will run between Water Row Quay
in Govan and the Kelvin Harbour landing stage at the new transport museum.

A report to councillors says it will sail every day of the year the new Riverside
Museum is open. The report says: “The operator has advised that due to the
ferry travelling at low speed for a short crossing, the emissions will be very
low. By encouraging visitors to travel by Subway and then ferry to the Riverside
attractions, this should be viewed as a sustainable way of travelling through
reducing car travel.”

A spokesman for Clyde Marine Services declined to comment until the council’s
executive committee has formally made a decision. Govan councillor John Flanagan
welcomed the new ferry service and the boost it will provide to the local economy.

He said: “This is something people in Govan have been looking for a long time.
It will open up links to the Partick side of the river, the new museum and the
West End. The ferry will also benefit disabled people as the Subway does not have
access for wheelchair users.”

Council bosses estimated between 35,000 and 100,000 passengers a year may
use the new service.

Mr Flanagan said he hoped the increase in visitors would provide a boost to the
area. He added: “Govan Cross shopping centre has suffered over the last few
years because there has been a drop in the population. That has now been reversed
with new house building, and if we got 10% of the visitors to the new museum
it would boost the economy of the area. It will hopefully bring a lot more investment
into Govan.”

Jim Coleman, the city council’s executive member for land and environmental,
said: “This offers a new and completely different way of reaching the Riverside
Museum. We’ll be doing all we can to ensure it’s not a one-off and that there will
be other such services in operation. We want to see the Clyde as busy as possible.”

A passenger ferry crossing at Govan first started in 1734. By 1900 it carried
vehicles but was withdrawn in 1965 when the Clyde Tunnel opened. A small
passenger ferry on the same route closed the following year.

James H Forum Index -> Glasgow Development & Demolition
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