Up­grade to life­line berths wel­comed as Ker­rera slip­way and break­wa­ter com­pleted

The Oban Times - - News -

WORK to up­grade ferry berthing for the is­land of Ker­rera has been com­pleted.

The im­prove­ments, which be­gan in Jan­uary 2016, in­clude an ex­ten­sion of the slip­ways at Ker­rera and Gal­lanach and con­struc­tion of a new break­wa­ter, which will im­prove the re­silience of the ferry ser­vice in poor weather and re­move the pre­vi­ous re­stric­tions on freight and de­liv­er­ies caused by low tides.

Cale­do­nian Mar­itime As­sets Limited (CMAL), which owns fer­ries and 26 ports and har­bours on the west coast of Scot­land and Clyde Es­tu­ary, worked in part­ner­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity to agree plans for the up­grade.

The con­sul­ta­tion led to a change in the break­wa­ter de­sign from large boul­ders to a struc­ture where a lifeboat can moor along­side to al­low med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion.

‘This will sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce re­sponse time, po­ten­tially sav­ing lives.

Min­is­ter for Trans­port and the Is­lands Humza Yousaf said: ‘I am very pleased to see the work at Ker­rera is now com­plete and the com­mu­nity can start to reap the ben­e­fits of the up­graded berthing fa­cil­i­ties.

‘The new break­wa­ter and ex­tended slip­ways will lessen the im­pact of dif­fi­cult weather con­di­tions and re­move tidal re­stric­tions, im­prov­ing ferry re­silience and al­low­ing a bet­ter flow of ves­sels on the route. I re­cently vis­ited the works my­self and saw first-hand the sig­nif­i­cant im­pact these new fa­cil­i­ties will have.

‘The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has pledged to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ferry ser­vices for the com­mu­ni­ties that rely on them, and this in­vest­ment is fur­ther proof of that com­mit­ment.’ Ruairidh Camp­bell, project man­ager at CMAL said: ‘We are de­lighted to see the com­ple­tion of this sig­nif­i­cant project on time and within bud­get.

‘The up­grade will pro­vide a more re­li­able and re­silient ferry ser­vice for is­lan­ders.

‘The changes mean the lo­cal com­mu­nity has ac­cess to an un­re­stricted ser­vice, which will make life eas­ier for is­lan­ders who rely on the ser­vices, for ex­am­ple, farm­ers who take their live­stock to mar­ket on the main­land.

‘The new break­wa­ter im­proves the re­silience of the ferry ser­vice in poor weather, mak­ing can­cel­la­tion and de­lays less likely for weather-re­lated rea­sons, which is re­as­sur­ing for those who travel daily to the main­land for school and work.

‘The work at Ker­rera is part of our on­go­ing com­mit­ment to de­velop and main­tain our port and har­bour in­fras­truc­ture to pro­vide safe and ef­fi­cient life­line ferry ser­vices to com­mu­ni­ties around Scot­land.’

The new break­wa­ter on Ker­rera, pho­tographed by Neil Owen.

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