A drafting and submission of a Harbour Revision Order affecting Uig Harbour has been approved.
This follows the decision by Transport Scotland, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and CalMac to provide a larger vessel for the Uig/Tarbert/Lochmaddy Triangle lifeline ferry service to the Western Isles.
Work is in place in order to develop the three ports in preparation for the larger vessel and the potential for additional passengers and vehicle traffic.
Highland Council state that the funding for the works will be recovered through increased harbour dues, levied on CalMac ferries. The increase in harbour dues will also cover the additional routine revenue operations. The harbour dues for Uig Ferry Terminal will increase from October 2017, to cover the capital borrowing for the detailed design works which are ongoing.
Work outlined in the report includes land reclamation, berthing structure strengthening and widening, new fendering, dredging, new gangway, linkspan refurbishment or replacement, passenger walkway shelter on the approachway and widening, the demolition and rebuilding of the existing old pier head, and relocation of harbourmaster’s office.
The demolition of the existing ticket office and construction of a new ticket office, the possible relocation of the fisherman’s compound and the widening of the approachway will be the subject of a planning application.
A wave/coastal modelling study will be carried out during detailed design to consider engineering options for improving wind, wave and swell at the berth. When the new vessel comes into service, it is proposed to monitor the climate and berthing conditions which will inform the preferred engineering option.
Convener of the Council, Bill Lobban said: “The significant investment in Uig harbour infrastructure will be a very positive development for Skye.”
CMAL owns property at piers and harbours at more than 26 locations throughout Scotland. CMAL is delivering a programme of investment and improvements, which will create better facilities. In addition to its pier and harbour facilities, CMAL owns 33 ferries. All 33 vessels are leased to CalMac Ferries Ltd for use on ferry services on the Clyde and Hebrides. In addition, two ferries are currently under construction.
The two dual fuel vessels are currently being built in Port Glasgow and are earmarked for the Arran and Skye Triangle routes. They will be capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine gas oil (MGO), helping to reduce carbon emissions. The vessels will carry up to 1,000 passengers and provide 646-metre vehicle lane capacity, which is approximately 25% increased carrying of a mix of cars, light vehicles, coaches and heavy goods vehicles.