Gourock work ‘on schedule’ ahead of Rothesay ferry move

CalMac Port Manager Scott Goodwill (right) checks on progress at Gourock harbour with site agent Ian Taylor from contractor George Leslie.
CalMac Port Manager Scott Goodwill (right) checks on progress at Gourock harbour with site agent Ian Taylor from contractor George Leslie.

Improvements to the ferry terminal at Gourock are on schedule ahead of the temporary use of the pier by Rothesay’s ferry service in the new year, according to Caledonian MacBrayne.

Bute’s principal ferry link will run to and from Gourock for 16 weeks from March 2, 2015, due to the closure of Wemyss Bay for major repairs.

The improvements at Gourock are due to be completed by January 31, enabling the Rothesay ferries to use the pier without disrupting passenger-only sailings to and from Dunoon and Kilcreggan.

“Passengers will notice a difference in the quality of facilities at Gourock long term,” said CalMac’s port manager, Scott Goodwill.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure causes passengers but these improvement will make both ports more resilient and will help make our services more reliable over the long term.”

The work taking place at Gourock includes:

* New steps constructed adjacent to the linkspan to accommodate the Kilcreggan ferry service

* Shore works to improve pedestrian and vehicle flow around the terminal

* Demolition of redundant steel and timber structures which currently form the seaward frontage to the linkspan approachway

* New steelwork platforms constructed supported on tubular steel piles

* New tubular steel fender piles and units for ferry berthing.

Public meetings were held in Inverkip and Rothesay on December 16 and 18 to give users of the Wemyss Bay service more information about the work to be carried out over a 16-week period from early March until late June.

Ramsay Muirhead, head of civil engineering at Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), which owns the pier, said: “The planned works are essential to maintain a safe and reliable service to Rothesay.

“We knew local people who use the service regularly would have questions about the work and alternative travel plans, so the meetings were a great opportunity to address their concerns.

“We considered various options to carry out the work and concluded that a complete closure for a temporary period is the best solution to get the work completed quicker. It will ultimately lead to a better service for passengers and ensure we maintain a modern harbour operation.”

The presentation from the public meeting and notes covering a Q and A will be published on the CMAL website in the New Year.

Passengers can contact CalMac’s customer care team on 0800 066 5000 for more details about the improvement works and temporary service changes.