New slip plans unveiled for Bute ferry crossing

Colintraive villagers and visitors from Bute gather to hear about CMAL's plans for new slipways and associated works for the Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry.
Colintraive villagers and visitors from Bute gather to hear about CMAL's plans for new slipways and associated works for the Rhubodach-Colintraive ferry.

Plans for new slipways to serve the ferry crossing at the north end of Bute were unveiled to members of the public this week.

Officials from Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, which owns the shore facilities at both Rhubodach and Colintraive, attended a meeting at Colintraive village hall to explain their plans to upgrade facilities at both terminals over the next 12 months or so.

New slipways, each double the width of the existing slips, will be built at both ends of the crossing, while a new marshalling area, located beyond the current ticket office, will be constructed at Colintraive.

Detailed design work will be carried out over the forthcoming winter, with contractors invited to tender for the work in the spring and construction beginning in summer 2015 - first at Rhubodach and then at Colintraive.

At Rhubodach a work site will be established to the north of the existing slipway and a new slipway constructed and brought into use, before the current slip is demolished and the new ramp extended in its place.

A similar procedure will be followed at Colintraive, although the work site on the mainland side of the crossing will be to the south of the existing ticket office, where a new vehicle queuing area will be established once the slipway work is complete.

A temporary traffic management system will be put in place on the A886 heading south into Colintraive while the new slip there is being built, with vehicle traffic for the ferry queuing on the main road.

Ramsay Muirhead from CMAL told the meeting it was possible that the current ferry timetable might have to be changed, at least for the duration of the work at Colintraive, so that the ferry does not lie at the mainland terminal in between crossings.