Reacting to the SNP Government decision that Wemyss Bay ferry terminal will undergo major work and will be closed for 4 months from early February to late May, Alan Reid MP said,
“This SNP decision is grim news for Bute ferry users and Dunoon ferry users who have mobility problems.
“I have written to Nicola Sturgeon, the Minister responsible for the decision, asking the following questions.”
Why is this work being carried out between February and May, meaning that tourists will be deterred from visiting Bute during the spring and early summer season? Why could it not be carried out during the quieter winter months?
Can a through ticketing arrangement be agreed with Western Ferries to help ferry users who choose to go to Bute via their service and the Colintraive-Rhubodach one?
What impact will this have on the Coruisk sailings to Dunoon?
Why is nothing being done at Gourock to help Dunoon passengers with limited mobility? Can an access to the Dunoon-Gourock passenger ferry that could be used by disabled passengers be built as close as possible to the exit from the station?
Mr Reid added,
“This announcement of very bad news from the SNP Government has come out just after the referendum without any prior consultation with ferry users. It will mean tremendous disruption for Bute ferry users and visitors to the island during the spring and early summer season. Instead of just carrying out repairs to the port infrastructure, the SNP Government should build a breakwater at Wemyss Bay to both protect the port infrastructure and reduce the number of cancelled sailings in the future.
“I was shocked by the way the CalMac announcement dismissed the problems that will be caused to Dunoon passengers with limited mobility. Instead of just dismissing these passengers, the SNP Government should build an access to the Dunoon-Gourock ferry that could be used by disabled passengers as close as possible to the exit from the station.”
NOTE: While Wemyss Bay is closed the Bute ferry will use Gourock. The knock-on effect means that the Dunoon ferries will not be able to use the Gourock linkspan while the Bute ferry is berthed there. There will be no access to the Dunoon ferry for passengers with mobility impairment while the Bute ferry is berthed at the linkspan.