‘No support’ for Kyles ferry extension plan

The Scottish Ferries Review's draft plan proposes extending the timetable of the Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry crossing to midnight in the hope of giving Bute's economy a boost.

The Scottish Ferries Review's draft plan proposes extending the timetable of the Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry crossing to midnight in the hope of giving Bute's economy a boost.

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PROPOSALS in the Scottish Ferries Review to extend the timetable of the secondary route to Bute are likely to attract little or no local support, according to the island’s community council.

The review’s draft plan, out for consultation until March 30, suggests that an ideal service model for Bute’s two routes would see a timetable running from 6am until midnight each day.

The plan rules out such a change on the Rothesay-Wemyss Bay route on cost grounds, but proposes extending the Kyles ferry timetable along those lines instead, and asks for the views of the local community on whether such a service would be well used.

But at a meeting of Bute Community Council’s transport committee this week, attended by BCC members, local councillors, officials from CalMac Ferries Ltd and Argyll and Bute Council and the public, there was little or no enthusiasm for the proposal.

BCC chair Grace Strong told the meeting: “Everyone I’ve been speaking to about a midnight ferry says, without exception, ‘what a daft idea’.”

Instead, BCC in its response to the review is to suggest the island would be better served by a year-round extension of the Rhubodach-Colintraive timetable to 9pm – currently the time of the last ferry from April to August only – and by later ferries between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay on Friday and Saturday nights.