The number of cars, coaches and commercial vehicles carried on Caledonian MacBrayne’s Rothesay-Wemyss Bay ferry service rose slightly in 2014.
And while the number of passengers carried on the route showed a slight drop compared to 2013, the increase in vehicle numbers provides a sign of hope for growth across the board in the future.
According to CalMac’s official statistics for the year to December 31, a total of 147,501 cars were carried on the two Rothesay ferries during 2014 - more than any of the company’s other routes.
Similarly, the Rothesay route carried more commercial vehicles during the year than any other CalMac service - the figure of 12,902 outstripping the 12,640 carried between Stornoway and Ullapool.
The Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry, meanwhile, was the busiest of all CalMac routes in terms of the number of coaches carried, with 2,768 coaches making the short trip across the Kyles.
However, in terms of passengers, cars, coaches and vehicles, loadings on the Colintraive route were lower than in 2013.
Carriage statistics for the two Bute routes during 2014 are as follows, with comparative figures and the percentage increase or decrease in brackets.
Rothesay-Wemyss Bay: Passengers 674,088 (676,926 in 2013 - a decline of 0.42 per cent); cars 147,501 (144,824 in 2013 - an increase of 1.85 per cent); coaches 861 (844 in 2013 - an increase of 2.01 per cent); commercials 12,902 (12,330 in 2013 - an increase of 4.64 per cent).
Rhubodach-Colintraive: Passengers 214,550 (222,063 in 2013 - a fall of 3.38 per cent); cars 74,647 (75,507 in 2013 - a fall of 1.14 per cent); coaches 2,768 (2,869 in 2013 - a fall of 3.52 per cent); commercials 9,715 (9,992 in 2013 - a fall of 2.77 per cent).