CalMac confirms Rothesay timetable and fares for Wemyss Bay closure

MV Bute at Wemyss Bay's ferry terminal.
MV Bute at Wemyss Bay's ferry terminal.

CalMac Ferries Ltd has confirmed details of the timetables and fares which will come into operation when the Wemyss Bay ferry terminal closes for major repairs on October 1.

Details were released on Friday, shortly after the terminal’s owners, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), announced the award of a £3 million contract to civil engineers George Leslie Limited to carry out the repairs.

Rothesay’s ferry services will be diverted to and from Gourock for the duration of the work, which is expected to last for around 24 weeks.

The introduction of lower fares based on road equivalent tariff (RET) on the Rothesay route has been brought forward to October 1, to coincide with the start of the diversion.

From Monday to Friday the first sailings of the day will be at 5.50am from Rothesay and 7.15am from Gourock, with the last sailings at 7pm from Rothesay and 8.10pm from Gourock.

On Saturdays the first sailings are at 7am from Rothesay and 8.15am from Gourock, and the last departures are at 7.45pm from both ports.

On Sundays, the first departures will be at 7.55am from Rothesay and 8.15am from Gourock, with the last sailings of the day leaving Rothesay at 6.45pm and Gourock at 8pm.

Under the new RET fares structure a single ticket will cost £3.05 for a passenger and £10.95 for a car, with a return crossing costing exactly double - £6.10 and £21.90 respectively.

Full details of the new timetables and fares can be found by clicking here.

CalMac’s director of operations, Drew Collier, said: “While this work will cause some unavoidable inconvenience it is necessary to secure the long term future of the port facility.

“We have put in place what we believe is the best possible alternative route to minimise disruption.”

Fifty-six sailings per week will run from Rothesay to Gourock; there will be no impact on the Argyll Ferries passenger service between Gourock and Dunoon, which now uses a new loading facility at Gourock pier to ensure it does not come into conflict with vehicle ferry services.

The work at Wemyss Bay includes replacement of the existing timber fenders, refurbishment of the linkspan, reconstruction of the 1970s concrete pier end and installation of corrosion protection to the whole pier.

The harbour will also be dredged as part of the project which will give berthing vessels greater flexibility in bad weather.

“Although all options were looked at, including short term closures and night working, an extended closure was seen to be the best option for minimising disruption,” Mr Collier added.

The temporary diversion will be widely advertised in ports and railway stations.