Harbour pier work 'all part of the service'


Improvement works will begin soon at Rothesay Harbour on the Isle of Bute, causing a temporary reduction in ferry services.

Argyll and Bute Council said the work will prepare the pier to accommodate larger vessels than the original pier was built to withstand.

The council has appointed Shearwater Marine Ltd to undertake stabilisation works costing £1.9m, pointed out.

The contractor will mobilise at the harbour during the week commencing on Monday (20 May) with the first dive a week later.

It will carry out work overnight to reduce disruption to ferry operations. The council said day-to-day travel for residents and visitors should be mainly unaffected but added that to allow the contractor access to the site, the berth will not be available overnight, requiring one of the Bute ferries to berth overnight in Gourock.

Cllr Ross Moreland, chair of Argyll and Bute Harbour Board, said: ‘The pier has played an important part in the island’s history and will continue to play a role in its future, through supporting the economy, transport and tourism.

‘With that in mind, we have arranged to halt the work during key events such as Bute Fest and the Bute Highland Games. This will enable CalMac to return to its full ferry service.’

Pauline Blackshaw, director of strategy and change for ferry company CalMac, said: ‘We welcome the investment being made by Argyll and Bute Council to upgrade the infrastructure at Rothesay to secure the long-term sustainability of a reliable ferry service.

‘As we can only accommodate one of our two vessels at Rothesay overnight, the other will berth nightly at Gourock. Consequently, we must cancel the second daily sailing from Rothesay and the second last sailing from Wemyss Bay.'

The council said work should take nine months to complete, depending on the weather and supply of materials.

It said maintaining ports and harbours ‘is just one of the services our council provides that others don’t need to’

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