There used to be a time that I wrote about the Islay ferry and ferry services almost weekly, either because the service was disrupted due to bad weather, because of an accident with one of the vessels, a possible change in the frequency of sailings or the construction of the new ferry, the Finlaggan. Lately things are very quiet on the ferry front which is a good thing. The new ferry had some teething problems at the start but she is runnning fine now and there are no other significant changes to be expected anytime soon apart from the arrival of autumn and the usual (hopefully few) disruptions due to the weather. Good news. One thing however needed attention and that was access to the new ferry for foot passengers at Port Askaig and Kennacraig. Last week the following article appeared in the Ileach which gives some clarification:
The Ileach has received a number of enquiries as to the latest state of play with regard to the changes in foot passenger access to the ferries at the ports of Kennacraig and Port Askaig following the introduction of the MV Finlaggan. Foot passengers have been required to wait until vehicle traffic has disembarked before walking off the main car ramps, a situation which had resulted in some delay, particularly if the mezzanine deck was in use. Continue reading....
Following representations to CMAL, we have received the following statement: "Port Askaig â€“ The works to construct the passenger access platform will commence at Port Askaig on 22nd August and are due to be complete by 22nd September. The programme has been shared with CFL (and) Argyll & Bute Council and has been made public at the August public meeting regarding Port Ellen works. The gangway that will be used on top of the platform was due to be delivered on 12th August, but there would have been issues storing it on site, so the delivery has been delayed until mid- September.
"Kennacraig â€“ Graham Construction have now completed the installation of the gangway platform and gangway on top of the existing pier deck at Kennacraig, which opened on Friday 8th July 2011, as programmed. It has been designed (as requested by the operator) to accommodate the Finlaggan and the Heb Isles, we are now looking at modifications required to accommodate the Isle of Arran."