Alternative options report fudges figures to support original scheme

2009-08-25

The Route Partnership have claimed that their report into alternatives to building on Battery Rocks beach supports their original scheme, but their conclusions downplay the advantages of an out of town freight handling depot and ignore the risks associated with their own scheme.

While the report, which was published today (see link below), concludes that the alternative options are “workable solutions” to the needs of the Isles of Scilly Link, it goes on to say that the out of town freight depot is too costly to run. An alternative analysis of the running costs in the report (see below) shows that this is NOT the case and that capital cost savings associated with the alternative options, which are all substantially cheaper to set up than the RP scheme, can be recycled to offset most or all of any additional running costs.

The alternative analysis by the Friends of Penzance Harbour illustrates that the out of town freight depot option as specified by the RP is just 8% more expensive to run than the RP scheme (the equivalent of less than 1% of freight turnover). However, there is controversy over the manning levels used by the RP and in particular the inclusion of two full-time lorry drivers to cover just 150 miles/week; these are not needed and an operator would instead use multi-tasking staff that work the depot for the rest of the day. With the truck drivers taken out of the equation the out of town freight depot is 14% cheaper to operate than the RP scheme.

It is also likely that the RP's original scheme will be more costly to operate than the report suggests. It assumes that forklift trucks are used to take freight from the depot on Battery Rocks beach to the ship on the Lighthouse Pier; this keeps the operating costs of their scheme down (relative to the alternatives) but is unlikely to be sustainable. Noise levels during early morning operating and health and safety concerns will probably force the use of “MAFI” trucks instead; these will have to be purchased but more importantly they will push up operating costs. As the RP report acknowledges, if their scheme uses MAFI trucks then it will be more expensive to operate than all of the alternatives (this is the case even without the recycling of capital cost savings).

In our alternative analysis we also describe two other options. The first involves a passenger terminal next to the Meadery (as the Civic Society has proposed) and the purchase of an existing depot at Long Rock. The second is the same but assumes that the depot is rented and not purchased. Both of these options further dramatically reduce operating costs with savings of 29-52% when compared with the RP scheme.

All the figures in our analysis are figures from the recent RP consultants report into alternative options, and they show quite clearly that on cost grounds alone the out of town freight depot approach is to be preferred. If you add the benefits of removing so many vans and lorries from the harbour area and the fact that Penzance gets to keep Battery Rocks beach and its historic seafront then the out of town freight depot is by far the best option.

Notes

1. The scope and brief for the alternative options report was decided by the RP who commissioned if from the same consultants that are responsible for implementing their original scheme. The outcome of the report is a function of the brief and of relations between the RP and the consultant. It is not “peer-reviewed” science and cannot be relied on to be an objective assessment of the relative merits of the different options.

2. When the RP first proposed an alternative options appraisal the Friends of Penzance Harbour expressed its concern at the narrow scope of the study, the modest budget allocated and the timescale envisaged. We nonetheless agreed to assist with the study on the basis that if it was conducted in good faith and with a genuine will to finding an alternative to building on Battery Rocks beach then it might come up with useful proposals. Unfortunately the RP’s behaviour during the report’s preparation (continuing to lobby aggressively for their original scheme) and the refusal of the reports authors to address the concerns raised shows that the study has been undertaken in anything but good faith. We provided comments on the first draft of the report and immediately before publication, and copies of these are available on request.

3. The recycling of capital cost savings is possible because capital saved when undertaking the harbour works in Penzance can be used to buy the new boat (the Department for Transport are funding both); this reduces the size of the Cornwall Council loan on the boat and the payments that have to be made to service it. The fee from the operator has to cover the full cost of the boat loan; if the loan is reduced because a less expensive alternative harbour option is chosen then the fee from the operator will cover the loan and provide a positive revenue stream for the Council; this can then be used to cover any additional running costs of the out of town freight depot (which are in any case modest).

FoPzH Alternative Analysis of Option Running Costs : download pdf | view pdf

Link to Route Partnership Report into Alternative Options

Other Stories

2012-10-12
Town Council Resolution addressing Rock Armour

2012-10-10
Statement delivered to special Town Council meeting this evening

2012-10-09
Town Council to discuss Rock Armour threat – Wednesday 10th October 2012

2012-10-08
DfT ask for Town Council view on Rock Armour

2012-09-20
Town Council scheme threatened by Cornwall Council Rock Armour plan

2012-02-07
Option Shortlist Exhibition & Public Consultation, 9th February

2011-11-18
Harbour Options Design Workshops, 24th November 2011

2011-11-18
Feedback Form for Pz Harbour Scheme Options Review

2011-11-08
Options Review Public Meeting, 17th November 2011

2011-11-08
New Penzance Harbour Scheme Options Review launched

2011-09-27
Penzance Harbour Scheme Management Board members chosen

2011-09-19
Town Council takes on Pz-IoS Link project

2011-09-17
More detail on DfT funding decision

2011-09-08
Seafront Forum up and running

2011-05-12
Community development trust proposed for Penzance seafront

2011-04-08
A positive first step towards alternative Pz-IoS Link scheme

2011-04-04
Call for a "coalition of the willing"

2011-04-01
The wrong response to the challenge we face

2011-04-01
DfT Decision: Statement by the Friends of Penzance Harbour

2011-03-31
DfT refuses funding for Council IoS Link scheme

2011-03-24
Town Council backs alternative scheme and sends message to minister

2011-03-20
Decision to increase IoS Link loan should be put to Full Council

2011-03-17
Portfolio Holder admits scheme business case is unsustainable

2011-03-15
Is this the new Scillonian IV?

2011-03-15
Macho posturing or rational decision-making?

2011-03-14
Pz Business Network launch cheaper, better, less risky IoS Link scheme

2011-03-07
Environment consents decision

2011-03-01
Alternatives key to securing DfT funding

2010-10-26
DfT orders rethink on Isles of Scilly Link scheme

2010-10-23
Public Meeting a huge success

2010-10-18
Penzance deserves better: emergency public meeting

2010-10-15
New Cornishman Poll: Vote “NO” to save the seafront

2010-10-14
Consent granted for new sea wall

2010-10-08
Sea wall goes back to planning committee

2010-08-20
Andrew George condemns Option A and the "bullying and intimidation" of its supporters

2010-08-19
Secretary of State declines to call in LBC application

2010-08-11
Joint appeal for DfT investigation of Route Partnership project

2010-08-06
Planning committee chair describes Penzance Harbour process as “absolute shambles”

2010-07-16
European Parliament to investigate Pz Harbour scheme

2010-07-12
URGENT: Please write to Norman Baker MP

2010-06-28
South Pier historic listing elevated to Grade II *

2010-06-23
Cllr Hicks guilty of “unreasonable and excessive personal attack”

2010-06-14
Golden opportunity to reassess Scilly Link scheme

2010-05-09
Tender outcome predictable

2010-05-04
Vote to save historic seafront

2010-03-24
Object to Option A environment consents

2010-03-20
Help us secure a Public Inquiry

2010-03-17
Option PZ planning application submitted

2010-03-09
Misinformation, threats and false promises win the day

2010-03-09
Objectors win letters battle hands down

2010-03-08
Planning Committee volt face

2010-03-07
Option A support so much “smoke & mirrors”

2010-03-04
Public give Option PZ a warm welcome

2010-03-03
CPRE object to LBC application for Option A

2010-03-01
Town Council rejects Option A again

2010-02-25
“Option PZ” should unite community

2010-03-05
Planners meet this coming Monday

2010-02-24
Put Penzance First

2010-02-24
Option A Myths

2010-02-22
Council harbour decision making "grossly defective"

2010-02-08
Council resubmit application for Listed Building Consent

2010-01-28
A sad day for Cornwall Council

2010-01-25
English Heritage objection to Option A “still stands”

2010-01-22
MP convenes meeting to discuss alternatives to Option A

2010-01-13
Business community calls for end to Option A plans - now 30 sign-ons

2010-01-01
Campaign continues in 2010

2009-12-14
Planning Committee REFUSES application - 669 write to object

2009-12-10
Packed meeting sends clear message to planning committee

2009-12-02
English Heritage say NO to building on Battery Rocks beach

2009-11-30
Planning Committee to meet in Penzance on December 10th & 14th

2009-11-23
“RMV White Elephant” or, why two ships are better than one

2009-11-19
Deadline for objections extended

2009-11-16
Out of control Council circumvents normal planning procedures, makes mockery of local democracy

2009-11-14
Friends ask Secretary of State to “call in” harbour proposals

2009-11-13
Packed house hears extraordinary history of pier

2009-11-12
Tinner Challenges Planners

2009-11-02
Complaint of maladministration leading to injustice

2009-10-28
New Option A planning applications submitted - YOU MUST OBJECT AGAIN!

2009-10-22
Option A: two years of hell!

2009-10-16
Isles Council continues its bully-boy tactics

2009-10-09
Packed public meeting rejects plan to build on Battery Rocks beach

2009-10-07
New planning battle kicks off

2009-10-01
Offensive remarks a sign of poor judgement

2009-09-30
Public Meeting: St John’s Hall, October 9th at 7:30pm

2009-09-29
Friends launch Fighting Fund to defend historic seafront

2009-09-28
Cornwall Cabinet decision based on biased and misleading information

2009-09-13
Cabinet to consider resubmission of Battery Rocks planning application

2009-09-11
One ship option is NOT cheaper to operate

2009-08-25
Alternative options report fudges figures to support original scheme

2009-08-25
MP says Route Partnership scheme "politically undeliverable"

2009-08-24
Route Partnership plan will harm regeneration in Penzance

2009-08-20
Public rejects Route Partnership scheme (AGAIN)

2009-08-12
A reminder of what we stand for...

2009-07-30
Scilly Link unviable from Falmouth

2009-07-27
Route Partnership attempt to undermine local democracy - historic seafront still in danger!

2009-07-07
Route Partnership continue to promote development on Battery Rocks beach

2009-07-06
Meadery site "may" be best option for passenger terminal

2009-07-05
Friends comment on draft Alternative Options Appraisal

2009-07-03
Breakdown of objections published

2009-06-12
Planning application withdrawn

2009-05-19
Cornwall Council move to consider alternatives

2009-05-04
Route Partnership talk about alternatives

2009-05-01
Jubilee Pool association joins fight against harbour development

2009-04-22
Planners overwhelmed by objections to Route Partnership plan

2009-04-22
Planning permission sought for works depot

2009-04-15
Time to talk about alternatives

2009-04-09
Planning application to be considered on July 7th

2009-03-26
Objections still accepted

2009-03-16
Object now to stop Battery Rocks beach development

2009-03-10
English Heritage unhappy with Route Partnership scheme

2009-03-05
Harbour development planning notices published today

2009-03-04
Route Partnership admits to exhibition photomontage error

2009-03-03
Route Partnership refuses to meet protesters

2009-03-02
Traffic survey reveals advantages of out-of-town freight depot

2009-02-25
Route Partnership defy public and submit Battery Rocks planning application

2009-02-23
Department of Transport request review of Route Partnership plans

2009-02-19
Friends of Penzance Harbour call on Councils to provide political leadership

2009-02-16
Call for Scillonians to look again at Route Partnership plans for the Islands

2009-02-11
Town Council says "no" to Route Partnership scheme

2009-02-10
Elected representatives must reject Route Partnership plan for Penzance

2009-02-05
Department of Transport admit there is NO time limit on funding

2009-01-26
Friends of Penzance Harbour make formal complaint about exhibition

2009-01-23
Massive opposition to plans for Penzance harbour