Fewer people travelling on Bute ferry routes

CalMac's MV Bute seen leaving Rothesay pier.
CalMac's MV Bute seen leaving Rothesay pier.

The number of passengers travelling on Rothesay’s ferry service fell by more than 42,000 in 2015, according to figures published by CalMac Ferries Ltd.

A total of 631,658 people travelled on the route in 2015, compared to 674,088 the previous year - a drop of 6.29 per cent, or 42,430 people.

The new statistics cover all sailings made on the Rothesay route last year, combining those made to or from Wemyss Bay until September 30 and journeys to or from Gourock from October 1.

It’s the sixth year in a row that the number of passengers travelling to or from Rothesay by ferry has fallen - and the latest drop is the steepest year-on-year decline in that time, though the fall may be at least partly attributable to the temporary Gourock diversion and the resulting reduction in frequency, along with the near-doubling of the published crossing time.

The Rothesay route remains the third busiest in the CFL network in terms of foot passengers, behind the Ardrossan-Brodick and Largs-Cumbrae services, which carried 761,948 and 687,082 passengers (up 6.56 per cent and down 2.7 per cent respectively).

The number of cars carried on the Rothesay route fell by 1.6 per cent compared to the previous 12 months, while coach numbers fell by 8.83 per cent and commercial vehicle numbers by 13.45 per cent.

On the Rhubodach-Colintraive service, meanwhile, passenger numbers fell by 2.41 per cent on the 2014 figures, although the number of cars carried increased by more than 12 per cent.

Coach numbers on the short Kyles crossing dropped by 18.82 per cent and commercial vehicles by 3.44 per cent.

The total number of passengers carried across the CFL-operated network fell slightly, by 0.58 per cent or 27,162 people.

View the latest carrying statistics for the whole of the CFL network - along with figures dating back to 2007 - by clicking here.