Work planned to protect pier from ferry damage

New ‘protection’ costing tens of thousands is to be fitted at Kilcreggan’s 115 year-old pier in the next few months.

Argyll and Bute Council has confirmed that tenders will be invited for the work, which is due to  be completed in this financial year.

Last week the Greenock Telegraph revealed that SPT would give Argyll and Bute a £27,000 grant to help ‘improve’ the historic pier – a listed building.

Today (Monday) a council spokesperson said the final cost to the public was unknown until a tender was accepted, but the total seems unlikely to be covered by the SPT grant alone: “The funding (from SPT) will be used as a contribution to installing rubber fenders on the berthing face of Kilcreggan pier.

“This scheme will also provide an enhanced berthing system for the PS Waverley, which calls at Kilcreggan during the summer season.”

Clyde Marine had operated the ferry for 33 years until Clydelink took over the contract for the service to Gourock this April.

The council spokesperson added: “The vessel used by Clyde Marine had a different belting system and no request was made to amend the fendering arrangements at Kilcreggan.”

New barriers which appeared on the pier this summer prompted complaints to the council, but officials said they did not need to give themselves planning permission as the work was relatively minor.

But this new additional cost, together with the apparent ‘hidden subsidy’ of an SPT employee serving on the crew and the reduced number of sailings, further undermines the case for changing contractor, which was justified by financial reasons alone.

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