Kenneth Gibson MSP has welcomed the decision from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) to progress a project to extend the life of the linkspan at Gourock Ferry Terminal.
Gourock is the port of refuge for the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry route; however, the linkspan has been unable to carry vehicles since 17 September last year.
The £2.5 million project will involve repairs to the linkspan’s support structures and replacement of the steel deck. Once complete, the linkspan will be able to carry vehicles.
Plans to appoint an engineering firm to carry out the work are now underway by CMAL and it is expected that the project will be finished in late 2020.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
"I am delighted that CMAL will now proceed with repairs to the 48-year old Gourock linkspan, which is currently not fit for purpose.
“Especially with the poor weather, it is crucial that Arran residents, visitors and suppliers of services and goods are able to get on and off the island with vehicles even when sailings are diverted to Gourock. The situation has been highly disadvantageous to my constituents, which is why I continually pressed for a solution with the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands multiple times over the past months.
“I continue to pursue a start date for the much-needed redevelopment of Ardrossan Harbour; in the meantime, this is a very welcome development."
Ramsay Muirhead, Director of Port Infrastructure and Planning at CMAL, said:
“This is welcome news for ferry users. The age of the linkspan at Gourock has been causing operational issues for several months and we know it has created significant inconvenience.
“Working with a specialist consultant engineering firm, we identified a solution that will return the linkspan to normal vehicle-carrying capacity. It means Gourock will be available as an alternative mainland port for vehicle services.
“This is a significant investment in life-extending measures to improve the resilience of the linkspan until a new one is built as part of the terminal redevelopment.”
CalMac’s Director of Operations, Robert Morrison, added:
“We welcome CMAL’s commitment to investing in Gourock linkspan. It is vital to the communities of Bute and Arran, who rely on it as an alternative mainland port.”
The project will require temporary linkspan closure for a short period, most likely in autumn 2020. Further details will be shared following the appointment of an engineer to finalise the programme and carry out the works.
Photo credit: CMAL.