Rothesay ferries cancelled as Scotland prepares for ‘Storm Frank’

MVs Bute and Argyle tied up at Rothesay pier late on the afternoon of December 29, as Scotland prepares for the strong winds and heavy rain of 'Storm Frank'.
MVs Bute and Argyle tied up at Rothesay pier late on the afternoon of December 29, as Scotland prepares for the strong winds and heavy rain of 'Storm Frank'.

Ferry services between Rothesay and Gourock were among the early casualties on Tuesday afternoon as Bute, and the rest of Scotland, prepared for the worst weather of the winter so far off the west coast.

MV Bute tied up at the overnight berth on Rothesay pier after arriving with the 1.15pm sailing from Gourock, and MV Argyle followed suit after providing the last crossing of the day, the 2.55pm from Gourock.

At the same time as the early end to the day’s sailings was announced, CalMac also advised that the first two return crossings on Wednesday - leaving Rothesay at 5.50am and 6.50am, and departing Gourock at 7.15am and 8.45am - would not operate because of adverse weather.

At the time this article was published, the Rhubodach-Colintraive route was still operating, but the short Kyles crossing was put on ‘amber alert’ from 3pm onwards, meaning sailings were liable to delay or cancellation.

A yellow ‘be alert’ weather warning for wind is in place for Argyll and Bute - and most of west and central Scotland - from 3pm on Tuesday until 8am on Wednesday, along with an amber ‘be aware’ warning for heavy rain - the latter applying from just after midnight until 3pm on Wednesday.

SEPA has also issued a general flood alert for the Argyll and Bute area, advising that minor flooding is possible in exposed coastal areas, particularly around the time of high water, due at approximately 8.15pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday.

The latest weather forecast for Rothesay is predicting southerly winds gusting to a peak of 66mph in the early hours of Wednesday, along with up to 17 millimetres - 0.67 inches - of rain at the same time.

Both wind and rain should ease through the course of Wednesday, though gusts of up to 45mph are forecast until around lunchtime.