CalMac criticised over Bute ticket delay

Western Ferries' MV Sound of Seil at the company's McInroy's Point terminal at the west end of Gourock.
Western Ferries' MV Sound of Seil at the company's McInroy's Point terminal at the west end of Gourock.

A Bute councillor has accused Caledonian MacBrayne of being reluctant to reach a ticket-sharing agreement with Western Ferries to cover the 16-week closure of Wemyss Bay for major repairs.

Robert Macintyre wants a deal to be struck giving Bute passengers the option of getting to the island via Western’s car ferry to Hunter’s Quay and CalMac’s Colintraive crossing, without additional cost, rather than having to wait up to two hours for a ferry from Gourock to Rothesay.

Western’s managing director Gordon Ross has already made such an offer, but no deal has been struck, and only one preliminary meeting held between the two companies to date.

Councillor Macintyre said: “CalMac must take this offer by Western Ferries on board, as the operation of this service is absolutely essential if businesses on Bute are to avoid suffering huge drops in income.”

A CalMac spokesman said the company was “trying to progress [the issue] as quickly as possible”.

The Wemyss Bay ferry terminal will close for major repairs on Monday, March 2, with CalMac’s Rothesay ferries sailing to and from Gourock for the duration of the work.

* Read Cllr Macintyre’s comments, and CalMac’s response, in full in the January 9 issue of The Buteman - on sale now.