No new gangway for Rothesay ferry during Wemyss Bay work

The passenger access gangway at Wemyss Bay pier has been plagued by technical troubles ever since it was installed.
The passenger access gangway at Wemyss Bay pier has been plagued by technical troubles ever since it was installed.

The troublesome passenger gangway at Wemyss Bay pier will NOT be replaced during this winter’s major repairs to the ferry terminal.

Officials from Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), which owns the pier, told members of Bute Community Council that replacement of the gangway was not on the agenda during the 16-week closure of the terminal next year for major repairs.

Ramsay Muirhead, CMAL’s head of civil engineering, told the meeting: “We looked at whether we could get in to do that work as well, but the site is going to be just too busy. Because of the timescale involved in designing, fabricating and installing something that would do the job, we did not have the time or the space to do it.”

Other points of Wemyss Bay-related interest raised at Bute Community Council’s meeting included:

* a pledge that the work will “certainly” be finished in time for the school summer holidays next July and August;

* an admission that for most of the duration of the project, there will be no back-up ferry should either of the route’s resident vessels break down;

* confirmation that there are no plans for a passenger-only ferry between Rothesay and Wemyss Bay during the work, as happened the last time Wemyss Bay was closed for repairs to the terminal linkspan;

* an apology for the disruption endured when Rothesay-Wemyss Bay sailings were suspended on one day last month - despite what looked like an improving weather forecast.

For more detail on all those points, make sure you pick up a copy of the November 28 edition of The Buteman - on sale now.