District News, June 10 2022

Port Ellen Ferry Terminal is set for a major upgrade.

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Anne Marie retires from her caring role in Tarbert

After almost a quarter of a century caring for members of  the community in Tarbert and the surrounding area, Anne Marie Robertson made her final visits on Monday May 30.

Speaking about her mum’s retirement from her role as a home-carer, Anne Marie’s daughter Karen-Ann said: ‘She has been privileged to be part of a fantastic team of individuals who work together to provide a high standard of care while being allowed into the homes, hearts and lives of all those she has cared for, while creating special bonds with her clients and families.

‘Tarbert residents have been lucky to have her care, her compassion and her company.’

Anne Marie Robertson has retired after 24 years caring for members of the Tarbert community.

Anne Marie is looking forward to spending time with her grandson, Owen, as well as her husband John and children Karen-Ann and John Arthur.

Karen Ann added: ‘We wish our mum a long and healthy retirement, although I’m sure she’ll be back for the odd bank shift or two as she won’t sit still for long.’


Consultation day for Port Ellen Ferry Terminal upgrade

Plans for vital improvement works at Port Ellen’s ferry terminal are to be scrutinised by islanders as part of a major investment programme.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) is this month hosting a community engagement event in Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen, to update people on proposed improvements and upgrades at the terminal.

The event on Wednesday June 22 will see engineers from CMAL and its partner consultant firm Mott MacDonald join with CalMac and Transport Scotland representatives to discuss design options with residents and business owners.

The consultation will be a drop-in event with people welcome to visit any time from 3pm to 6pm.

A new terminal building will be constructed during the development project and increases will be made to the vehicle marshalling area and staff and visitor parking.

It also aims to improve port operations for commercial use and passenger access to vessels.

In order to come up with the best design for the upgraded terminal engineers are carrying out a number of studies including wave monitoring surveys.

The preferred option is likely to be approved towards the end of 2022, followed by a two-year programme of design, consents and procurement and then construction works from 2024 to 2026.

CMAL senior civil engineer Paul Colenso said: ‘Significant investment is required at Port Ellen and our plans are designed to strengthen the resilience of the harbour to support ferry services and other port activities, as well as improve passenger experience.

‘Ferries are an essential service for islanders to support their day-to-day lives, and visitor demand is on the rise.

‘Islay is one of Scotland’s tourism hot spots and is home to several of the best-known whisky distilleries, which have significant freight requirements.

‘After several months of engineering planning and surveys, we’re now in a position to share proposals and design options for upgrade of the ferry terminal with the community and seek their feedback.

‘The community engagement event is an opportunity for islanders and stakeholders to engage in the process and find out how ferry infrastructure will be improved.’

Wave survey equipment at Port Ellen helped with the design stage.

The plans for Port Ellen form part of a 10-year programme of investment by CMAL, backed by £580 million from the Scottish Government.

In addition to the Port Ellen terminal upgrade, a traffic management improvements project will improve traffic and pedestrian management at the current terminal with work planned for July/August 2022, with minimal impact on the ferry service.

Also, the Islay vessels-enabling project will upgrade pier infrastructure at Port Ellen, Port Askaig, Colonsay and Kennacraig to enable two new vessels to moor and berth.

Work includes fender modifications at all four locations; dredging at Port Ellen, Kennacraig and Colonsay to deepen berths; pier strengthening at Kennacraig; a new wider linkspan at Port Ellen; and mooring aid installation at Port Askaig on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council.

Pre-construction work is ongoing and scheduled to be completed by summer 2023. Construction will be completed by autumn 2024.