Fight to save station

Scotland’s busiest Coastguard station, Clyde, has launched a petition in a bid to save it from the government’s axe.

The Greenock based station has also started issuing daily reports of its activities to highlight the work it does - a job that makes it the UK’s fourth busiest station.

The UK Government want to close the station and make Aberdeen the country’s main operations centre, meaning emergency calls would be transferred 200 miles away.

Last week we reported how the cuts also include Liverpool’s coastguard station.

Volunteer coastguards from the south-west of Scotland were among 150 signatories to a letter of protest to the prime minister.

It is now hoped that enough public pressure will force the UK Government to reverse its decision, as it did with coastguard stations at Stornoway and on Shetland.

A spokesman for the Clyde station said: “Apparently, the Government’s main concern is that the current site of Clyde Coastguard only has a short-term future.

“This seems to have trumped all rational thinking when deciding the fate of the station.

“Clyde Coastguard has been proven to be the busiest centre of all mainland Scottish centres and ranks highly overall for UK centres.

“Yet, no alternatives have been provided and many full-time and part-time Coastguard staff dedicated to keeping people safe at sea and on this busy river, are set to lose their jobs as a result of this decision.”

Over 600 people have signed the petition, which will be presented to transport minister, Phillip Hammond - who proposed the closure - at Downing Street in the near future.

The online petition can be signed at www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveclydecoastguard.

Under the plans coastguard stations around the UK will be cut from 18 to eight with only three staffed 24 hours a day.