Rothesay ferry disruption set to continue

MV Bute lies out of service at Rothesay pier on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 7, 2014.
MV Bute lies out of service at Rothesay pier on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 7, 2014.

Caledonian MacBrayne is planning for a one-vessel service on the Rothesay-Wemyss Bay route on Wednesday, October 8, due to problems with the propulsion system on MV Bute.

The vessel experienced technical troubles while on the 8am sailing from Rothesay on Tuesday morning, and after trying without success to berth at Wemyss Bay, was forced to lie off the mainland port to avoid disrupting her sister ship, MV Argyle, on the following crossing.

After eventually berthing at Wemyss Bay to discharge vehicles and passengers, MV Bute returned empty to Rothesay and remained out of service alongside Rothesay pier for the rest of the day.

MV Argyle was able to handle all the traffic for the route on her own, though passengers were faced with a wait of up to two hours between sailings.

Departures on Wednesday will be at the following times:

From Rothesay: 06:25, 08:00, 09:30, 11:00, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:30, last departure 19:00.

From Wemyss Bay: 07:15, 08:45, 10:15, 12:00, 13:45, 15:15, 16:45, 18:15, last departure 19:45.

A CalMac spokesperson said on Tuesday evening: “There was a propulsion issue with the MV Bute this morning which is currently being assessed. As a result we are planning for a single vessel service on Wednesday, October 8. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

MV Bute’s last breakdown was only two weeks ago, on September 22, though it’s unclear whether that fault and the latest issue are directly related.