CCTV upgrade and network expansion

We are currently installing new CCTV at all of our 25 Clyde and west coast harbours, ports, slipways and other facilities to improve the safety and management for users. This forms part of our overall commitment to improve and upgrade harbours across our network.

Installation began at the start of this year with a programme to replace eight existing harbour CCTV, followed with new local systems fitted to all remaining CMAL sites and facilities by summer 2017.

As owners of the CCTV we employ all necessary measures to safeguard individual privacy and ensure the system is operated in strict compliance with the Data Protection Act and associated codes of practice.

The majority of the cameras are fixed and provide views of high risk harbour areas such as pier and berthing areas and some public areas strictly within the limits of the harbour boundaries. The CCTV will assist us and CalMac Ferries to fulfil liability obligations for our customers, staff, contractors and other persons while also enhancing navigational safety within our harbour areas.

Both organisations must also be in a position to respond to threats and emergencies, medical crisis or harbour crime.  Whilst not monitored 24/7, the CCTV will be capable of generating alarms and notifications to ensure CMAL and CalMac are aware of incidents in order to provide appropriate response, particularly when incidents arise out of hours or at unstaffed locations.

RoRo Ferry Masters will also have direct access to live images of local weather and sea conditions at destination ports.  It is expected the significant improvement in the availability and detail of live information remotely accessible by the Masters will inform their decision making process and assist the ferry operator to optimise lifeline ferry service provision across all routes that use CMAL harbours and facilities.

We hope to have the CCTV installed by the end of summer 2017.

Lochranza ferry terminal – dredging and fender modifications

George Leslie Limited has been appointed to undertake improvement works at Lochranza Ferry Terminal. The contract, worth £105,000 was awarded after a competitive tendering process earlier this year.

The project is designed to enable the safe berthing of larger, deeper draught vessels at the pier in future. The work, which was completed in two weeks, involves dredging a berthing pocket adjacent to the pier and making modifications to two of the existing fender units.

The work we are undertaking will give greater flexibility to the number of vessels that can dock in Lochranza.

Six year project to upgrade Kennacraig Terminal

The work to upgrade the facilities at Kennacraig Ferry Terminal began in 2010 and has been progressed in phases over the past six years.

The first piece of work was to remove a sunken barge, which was awarded to Herbosch Kiere at a value of £750,000.

Phase 1 of the upgrade was awarded to Graham Construction and included construction for a new pier roundhead, parking, lighting, fuel and passenger access upgrades, valued at approximately £4 million.

Phase 2 was to address the access from the A83 trunk road by raising the causeway and widening it to a dual lane carriageway, as well as further enhancements to parking areas and a new marshalling facility that could cope with the increasing vehicular demands.  McLaughlin and Harvey were awarded this work at a value of £4 million.

As part of Phase 2, the dedicated commercial vehicle park was constructed over made ground.  A period of two years was allowed for the ground to settle and in early 2016 it was evident that that the ground was stabilised.  The final part of Phase 2 was to bring this area up to the design standard, this was undertaken by McLaughlin and Harvey in August 2016.

This was the last piece of work that took place in summer 2016 to upgrade Kennacraig which values the overall investment at over £8.5 million.

Port Ellen re-opens with new linkspan

Port Ellen Ferry Terminal has re-opened after CMAL completed essential work to install a new linkspan.

CMAL, which owns Port Ellen, closed the berth on 24th October for a period of three weeks to replace the linkspan, which had come to the end of its life.  Cylinders and pipework were also upgraded as part of the maintenance and upgrade project, which delivered a total investment of approximately £400,000.

During the three-week closure, services operated by Calmac Ferries Ltd were diverted to Port Askaig.  Services will now resume at Port Ellen as per the winter timetable.

Brian Sydney, Senior Civil Engineer at CMAL said:

“The local community in Islay will be pleased to know that Port Ellen has now re-opened with a new linkspan in place.  We understand the three-week closure will have created disruption and inconvenience for some passengers and we thank them for their patience and understanding.

“Installation of the new linkspan is part of our ongoing programme of harbour maintenance and upgrade work to ensure our harbours offer a safe and reliable ferry service.”

Simon Richmond, CalMac’s area manager said:

“I’m sure everyone will be delighted that the work has gone to plan and has been completed on schedule and we would like to thank passengers for their patience during the course of this improvement work.”


Kerrera Update 27.06.16

Precast planks landing on the breakwater at Kerrera.


Kerrera Update

DSCF3360 (Large)

20160616 - Kerrera

CMAL’s contractor, George Leslie, are making good progress with Kerrera’s breakwater. Completion is due at the end of July 2016.

Kerrera – Gallanach ferry resumes freight service

A major milestone was reached on Monday 29th February when the Kerrera Ferry resumed carrying freight.  Our contractor, George Leslie Ltd, has undertaken works to extend both slipways, removing the tidal restriction from this ferry service. Works are now underway on the breakwater at Kerrera, which will improve the resilience of the ferry service.

Our project manager, Ruairidh Campbell, said,

“We are delighted to resume the freight service to the island and look forward to seeing the new breakwater take shape”.

Gallanach - Kererra slipways


New pedestrian access to Port Ellen

Completed on time and on budget.


Latest updates on Castlebay developments


External decoration works, reconfiguration of internal and external WC’s, replacement of waiting room seating and internal decoration.

Completed  – 15 May 2015

Castelbay updates


Gourock Boat Steps were officially completed on 2nd April 2015 and opened to the public on 14th April 2015

The new structure provides a level access between shore-side and onto the new structure on Platform 4 of the 6 No. platforms which are set at various different levels, and which provide accessibility over all states of tide to all vessels which currently operate the Kilcreggan and Dunoon ferry services.

Various amendments and improvements were also made to existing passenger routes and waiting areas serving the new Boat Steps as part of major shore-side improvement works, including provision of a passenger shelter.

Colintraive and Rhubodach replacement slipways

New slipway’s are to be provided at Colintraive and Rhubodach as the current infrastructure has reached the end of its serviceable life. As part of these works, improved ferry queuing will also be provided at Colintraive.

This scheme is currently under Design with Construction due to start in 2016 after the Wemyss bay project is completed.

Community Meeting

CMAL held a community meeting at Colintraive on 3 November 2014 click here for a copy of the presentation.

Gourock Ferry Terminal

Ground investigation

A ground investigation which has been commissioned at the area adjacent to the linkspan approachway structure is due to be completed soon at the ferry terminal.

Information and results from the investigation will feed into the design and tender process for the new berth steps structure.

New berth steps

Update 20.01.15
The new berth steps structure works are on-going, with installation of fender piles and platform piles around 50% complete. The contractor is in the process of setting up in a new position to access the remaining piles which are imminently due be driven, weather permitting.

The contractor is also working on shoreside improvements which will accommodate vehicular traffic when ferry services are transferred from Wemyss Bay to Gourock.

Update 25.11.14
George Leslie Ltd has been appointed to construct a new Berth Steps structure adjacent to the linkspan approachway which will replace the existing Kilcreggan Steps structure and also shore works which will improve pedestrian and vehicle flow around Gourock Ferry Terminal.  Works commenced on site on 10th November 2014 and the Contractor is currently preparing temporary works which will allow them to work on a platform over water to construct the Berth Steps.  All of the works are planned and will be phased to avoid any disruption to timetabled ferry services and general disruption wherever possible and are due to be completed by 31st January 2015.


The scope of work comprises the construction of a new berth at Gourock Ferry Terminal in Inverclyde to accommodate 3 No. in-scope passenger-only ferries which presently operate from separate berths at the terminal.

Demolition of redundant steel and timber structures which currently form the seaward frontage to the linkspan approachway structure will be undertaken followed by construction of 6 No. new steelwork platforms, each set at different levels to accommodate the in-scope ferries at differing states of tide, which will be supported on tubular steel piles.  The individual platforms will be linked by a flight of stairs and one of the platforms is connected to the linkspan approach slab via a steel access ramp. Seaward of the platforms are a series tubular steel fender piles which vessels can berth against. These piles will each include a rubber fender unit, brackets for mooring shackles and hooks for mooring lines. All piles will be fitted with a Cathodic Protection system.

This Contract also involves the installation of new lighting along the linkspan approach slab to light the new berth platforms and steps. The new berth will also be supplied with an electrical plug in point and a water dispense point on one of the upper platforms to assist with maintenance cleaning of the platforms when in operation.”

Lochaline Ferry Terminal Walkway Replacement

A ground investigation has recently been completed at the ferry terminal which will feed into the tender process for a new walkway structure.

Information and results from the investigation will feed into the design and tender process for the new structure, which will replace the current walkway between the Inner and Outer Dolphin structures.

Alchemy has been awarded a contract to make repairs to the breakwater structure between the shore and the Inner Dolphin structure as well as some minor repairs to other structures at the ferry terminal.

Update 20.01.15
Vital repair works to the breakwater behind the aligning structure are on-going and other repairs to the aligning structure are anticipated to commence shortly.

Lochaline walkway replacement
A tender for replacement of the closed inner to outer dolphin walkway at Lochaline is due imminently.  This will restore existing methodology of CFL crew access to vessels when berthing overnight.