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Home News News GOUROCK LINKSPAN OUT OF ACTION ‘UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE’

GOUROCK LINKSPAN OUT OF ACTION ‘UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE’

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Gourock Boat Steps

 

The hydraulic linkspan at Gourock Ferry Terminal has developed what its owners CMAL described as a ‘significant’ oil leak from one of the cylinders which bears its weight, the company announced yesterday (Friday)

This means that CalMac’s already-troubled Gourock – Dunoon service will have to berth at the infamous Gourock Boat Steps – which the ferry company admit is not suitable for passengers who are infirm, have prams or small children, or large items of luggage.

 

To these passengers CalMac are offering a free, terminal-to-terminal taxi service.

 

CalMac say: “Passengers with reduced mobility, with large amounts of luggage or prams and small children may be unable to embark or disembark the ferry as a result of using the boat steps.

“Customers are advised to call 0800 066 5000 between the hours of 07:00 – 21:00 (Mon – Fri) & 08:00 – 20:00 (Sat & Sun) and CalMac will make alternative arrangements for you to travel between Gourock and Dunoon (and vice versa).”

 

CalMac say the oil leak is not only posing a risk to the environment, but there is a safety risk that the cylinder is unable to hold the weight of the linkspan. Additionally, according to CalMac, should the cylinder have excessive “creep” on one side, this could cause structural damage to the linkspan and/or its supports.

 

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) is working with their maintenance contractor to identify the best solution to allow the linkspan to return to use but it is likely that it will remain out of service for at least a week.

 

As the Gourock- Kilcreggan uses the boat steps, changes have been made to the Gourock-Dunoon timetable.

 

Argyll and Mute MSP Michael Russell (SNP) said: “This problem may have been the unforeseen but the knock on effect it will have on the Dunoon Gourock service is unacceptable , particularly given the difficulties some users may have accessing the steps at Gourock.

“There needs to be swift action taken to restore the normal service and that means a very speedy repair.   I will be pressing both companies for that.

“It will also be important to know how such a problem has occurred without apparently being noticed by either Cal Mac or CMAL before now.   Whose job was it to undertake regular preventative maintenance and why didn’t they do it ?”

 

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron (Conservative) said: “"The news that CalMac has had to remove the Gourock linkspan from service until further notice is yet another blow to local people in Dunoon and the surrounding area who rely on the ferry service.

"The last thing we need, at this very busy team of year, is a reduced service, which Calmac are saying is a likely consequence.

"I appreciate that the company has no choice in the matter and has to act responsibly.

"But this will simply underscore the concerns ferry users have about the resilience of the service after years of neglect by the Scottish Government."

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