The fenders are at the end of their serviceable life and a number of repairs have been carried out in the last two years to maintain serviceability, but these repairs will only be effective in the short term. If the fenders are subject to spells of bad weather during the coming winter, there is a risk of significant further deterioration that could cause damage to the vessels and/or the main pier structure.
Following extensive consultation with the ferry operator, CalMac Ferries Ltd, CMAL has decided that closing the ferry terminal for a short period of time is preferable to undertaking the works progressively while the terminal remained open. This will allow a faster and more efficient repair period, allowing a return to full service in a shorter time. It will ultimately be less disruptive than a short term closure with the availability of a reliable regular service from the neighbouring port at Gourock. Working while the port is open would also require exclusively nightshift working, which given the nature of the work would lead to months of disruption to local residents.