CalMac extends Gourock-Rothesay journey time

CalMac's MV Bute at Gourock pier.
CalMac's MV Bute at Gourock pier.

CalMac is to officially extend the crossing time on its Gourock-Rothesay route from 60 to 65 minutes.

The decision follows eight weeks of monitoring and will have no impact on the wider timetable or published departure times - with the exception of the last sailing of the day from Monday to Friday, which will now leave Gourock at 2015, rather than 2010 as before.

The punctuality of the service is one of the most frequent grumbles to be heard from passengers since the temporary Gourock service took effect on October 1 in order for major repairs to be carried out at the usual mainland terminal of Wemyss Bay.

CalMac’s director of operations, Drew Collier, said: “Several external factors that we couldn’t take account of when setting the timetable have worked against us.

“Speed restrictions on this part of the river, heavier than anticipated river traffic and prevailing weather combined have resulted in both the MV Bute and MV Argyle struggling to meet our expected journey time of an hour.

“By increasing this by five minutes passengers will now have greater certainty on their arrival time.”

The new times will be officially operational from January 2, and will be reflected at www.calmac.co.uk and all other publicity.

Passengers are reminded that due to the very short turnaround during this temporary diversion they should check in 30 minutes prior to sailing if in a vehicle and 10 minutes before departure for foot passengers.

The Wemyss Bay refurbishment work is due to be completed on or before March 18, 2016.