Coruisk to Dunoon: but Rothesay unaffected, says CalMac

MV Coruisk's winter relief service between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay will not be affected by plans to deploy her on the Dunoon-Gourock route.
MV Coruisk's winter relief service between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay will not be affected by plans to deploy her on the Dunoon-Gourock route.

Rothesay’s ferry service this winter will not be affected by plans to deploy MV Coruisk on the Dunoon-Gourock route, The Buteman has been promised.

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday that the Coruisk would be used to bolster passenger-only services on the Dunoon run this winter, and would remain on standby at other times, following protests from the Dunoon-Gourock Ferry Action Group (DGFAG).

Ms Sturgeon’s announcement made no reference to any implications for the Rothesay service, where the Coruisk provides winter relief cover while MVs Bute and Argyle are receiving their annual overhauls.

With that in mind, we asked a spokesperson for CalMac Ferries Ltd what Thursday’s announcement might mean for Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferry passengers, and were told: “There will be no implications for Bute. MV Coruisk will not be moved to Gourock-Dunoon until she has fulfilled her obligations elsewhere.”

Reacting to the news on The Buteman’s Facebook page, reader Kevin McGroarty asked whether the Coruisk would be used to cover in the event of a breakdown on one of Bute’s ‘resident’ ferries, this winter, or whether she would remain on the Dunoon route.

We put that question to CalMac’s spokesman, who replied: “We would prefer not to speculate on situations that may not arise but simply seek to reassure ferry travellers that in the event of a major breakdown we will do everything we can with the resources available to maintain ferry services as per the terms of our contract.”