Ferry discount on top of RET is ‘unlikely’

CalMac ferry MV Bute departing Rothesay pier.
CalMac ferry MV Bute departing Rothesay pier.

Transport Scotland has stated that an extra 15 per cent discount to compensate Rothesay ferry users when Wemyss Bay pier is closed is now ‘unlikely’ to happen.

The news comes in the form of a letter from John Nicholls, director of aviation, maritime, freight and canals with the government agency, to Bute Community Council secretary Mick Common.

BCC had sought clarification on whether the discount - promised when the original March-June closure date was announced last year - would still be applied even though the work is to be postponed until September.

Lower fares based on road equivalent tariff (RET) will be applied to Bute’s ferry routes in October, although the exact level of RET fares is yet to be decided.

Mr Nicholls said: “As you will know, when the harbour works were scheduled to begin in March, the intention was to offer passengers travelling on the diverted Rothesay-Gourock route service a 15 per cent discount to compensate for the inconvenience caused.

“You will have no doubt seen that the work has now been postponed until later in the year.

“It is unlikely that any discount will be applied on top of RET fares, as RET is likely to reduce fares significantly. However, once the exact timing of the Wemyss Bay works is confirmed, we will consider whether any discount is appropriate until the introduction of RET.”