This week's Community Column is written by Helensburgh and Lomond's constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie.

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I VERY much welcome the recent announcement that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has awarded the new contract for the Kilcreggan ferry service to Clyde Marine. 

This is a victory for everyone in Kilcreggan, Cove and Rosneath who demanded an end to Clydelink’s incompetence.

The new contract is a short-term fix which should improve the reliability of the service over the next 18 months but we need to start work immediately on securing a robust and sustainable service in the long term. 

I have asked the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to meet me with community representatives to discuss the next steps for transferring the service to the Scottish Government.

You only need to look back at the last fortnight to see the impact of a second-class ferry service on local communities on the Peninsula. The service has been suspended completely for days at a time and, even when it is running, last-minute cancellations at 6pm have left commuters stranded on the wrong side of the river, adding hours on to their journey home from work.

I attended the recent community meeting in Cove to discuss the future of the service and passengers are, quite rightly, becoming increasingly impatient for change. They have waited long enough for a reliable service so it’s time for Clydelink to hand over the reins to Clyde Marine as soon as possible.

* The Kilcreggan ferry is not the only source of frustration for local commuters at the moment. The surge in complaints I have received from people in Helensburgh and Lomond about poor rail services over the past year is unprecedented. 

Chief among the concerns is ScotRail’s tendency to skip stations when trains are running late.

Station-skipping never used to be such a frequent issue but ever since Abellio won the ScotRail franchise it seems to be used on an almost daily basis to deal with even the slightest delays on the network. 

The problem is getting worse and commuters who use stations at Craigendoran and Cardross have been hit particularly badly.

A good local rail network is key to promoting Helensburgh and Lomond as a great place to live and attracting new families to move to the area.

I have invited Alex Hynes, managing director of ScotRail, to visit Cardross in a couple of weeks to explore ways of improving services, and putting an end to station-skipping will be at the top of the agenda.