Coll and Tiree linkspan closure dates confirmed

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Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has confirmed the dates for the closure of the linkspans at Coll and Tiree ferry terminals as part of a replacement programme of work.

The linkspan decks are reaching the end of their serviceable life and are being replaced as part of CMAL’s programme of harbour upgrades and improvements.

During the linkspan closure periods, vehicles will be unable to travel to and from the islands.

The Coll linkspan will be out of service from Monday October 28 until Thursday November 21.

The Tiree linkspan will be out of service from Monday February 24 until Tuesday March 17.

Throughout this period CalMac will operate a passenger-only service, supplemented by a third party freight vessel service for transportation of essential goods.

More details of the alternative services will be communicated by CalMac in due course.

Brian Sydney, senior civil engineer at CMAL, said: ‘Each replacement will require a linkspan closure period of three to four weeks to complete the works, subject to weather conditions. If we can reduce the timescale, we will.

‘Essentially, the islands remain open for business, but vehicles will be unable to travel to or off the islands during this time.

‘We understand the vital and lifeline link the ferry service provides to these islands and our aim is to minimise the disruption as much as possible.

‘Working with CalMac, we reviewed capacity numbers and selected the periods of lowest traffic to minimise the impact of the linkspan closures.’

CalMac director of service delivery David Gibson added: ‘While we will be making alternative arrangements for essential freight items, I would urge communities to proactively plan freight deliveries and encourage anyone on the islands planning major construction projects to think about avoiding this period.

‘We will try to accommodate all requests for freight movements, but there may be restrictions in what can be carried and it would be helpful if major shipments of material could be avoided during these works.’