Anger over Wemyss Bay ferry terminal changeover

Ferry and train at Wemyss Bay.
Ferry and train at Wemyss Bay.

A woman has hit out at the train to ferry changeover at Wemyss Bay, an issue that was supposed to have been resolved when the timetable changed earlier this year.

Retired NHS receptionist Charlene Woods (65) from Rothesay, was on the Scotrail train which departed Glasgow Central on Tuesday of last week at 5.16pm arriving at Wemyss Bay at 6.09pm for the 6.20pm ferry to Rothesay. The train was three minutes late arriving at Wemyss Bay, leaving three minutes for passengers to catch the ferry cut off of five minutes before sailing. Surely enough time to still catch the ferry? However, passengers found the gates were closed two minutes early.

Charlene, who had been in Paisley visiting her husband in hospital, said: “I was shocked. But as we were coming in to the station a woman passenger said they wont let us on.

“I thought she maybe hadn’t been on the train for a while and was thinking of before the timetable changes.

“There was still time before the gate closed. But as we walked round we could see it was closed before we even got there.

“I ran straight into the office and said ‘it’s not five minutes yet, all these people have got off this train’. The guy in the office went away and never came back until the ropes went up. He just said he tried.

“I thought when they changed the timetables it was to avoid this problem. Being two or three minutes late shouldn’t be a big deal if you have got 11 minutes.

“Five minutes cut off is a bit much. And yesterday when I went on they never opened the gate until seven minutes before departure time giving you just two minutes to get on.

“The people working at Wemyss Bay, I have always felt, just don’t care at all. The people at Rothesay and on the ferry are great. But at Wemyss Bay they just don’t care.

“The guy in the office said the train driver should have contacted them to say there were three minutes late, but Scotrail said that’s ridiculous. They can’t do that.”

A CalMac spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience.

“We work closely with the local community to try and put in place a timetable that maximises travel opportunities.

“To achieve this there are inevitably tight turnarounds with any train delays impacting on connecting services.

“Holding certain sailing for any time at all can have a knock on effect on the return sailing meaning passengers connecting to Glasgow would miss their connection.

“We will continue to work to with the rail operator to improve connectivity.”