Islay Ferry: The Council on Port Askaig Pier

Every now and then you get to read a strange article and this week I found a story in the Ileach that surprised me to say the least. I don't know if this is a normal way how council's in Scotland communicate with local media, if so I think there is a serious problem. Following is an article that was published in the Ileach in which you can read how the Argyll and Bute council responds to serious questions from Islay's local newspaper, the Ileach. The questions were asked regarding the present, and recently built, linkspan at Port Askaig, which isn't up to the task of handling the new Islay ferry "MV Finlaggan"

Following the meeting hosted by CMAL in Port Ellen’s Ramsay Hall on Monday August 9th 2010 at which the future development of Port Ellen pier was discussed, the Ileach wrote to Argyll and Bute Council to ask for clarification on a number of issues with regard to the situation in Port Askaig during the lead-up to the arrival of the new CMAL commissioned ferry “Finlaggan”. Our questions, and the Council’s rather minimalist replies, are set out below. “Further to our telecon, (we) would greatly appreciate assistance/confirmation with the following questions/issues” Continue reading....

1) The new ferry ‘Finlaggan’ being built at Remontowa for the Islay route will not be able to operate from the linkspan at Port Askaig pier as currently configured.
The Council replied: “True”.

2) The ‘Finlaggan is expected to enter service in April 2011.
The Council replied: “True”.

3) The original modification proposed to alter the linkspan by adding an extension to it is no longer considered feasible.
The Council replied: “False”.

4) The current proposal is to alter the configuration of fendering at the pier to allow the Finlaggan to lie to the linkspan at an angle enabling the discharge and loading of vehicles.
The Council replied: “False”.

5) If the fendering is altered in this way, and the Finlaggan’s ramp can be made to interface to the linkspan in a manner that fulfils the necessary regulatory requirements, will other ferries in the CalMac fleet, and the Jura ferry, still be able to lie to, and operate from, the main linkspan at Port Askaig?
The Council replied: “Any amendment to the berth will consider all vessels that are likely to use it.”

6) Does the Council plan to have the necessary modifications completed in time for the arrival of the ‘Finlaggan’ in April 2011?
The Council replied: “Yes”.

Tag: travel ferry port askaig council