A NEW linkspan at Hunter’s Quay in Dunoon will be at the centre of a further £4 million of investment by Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd, which operates the commercial vehicle and passenger ferry service between the town and Gourock.

The work will see the 30m-long hinged and ramped bridge replace the existing structure, as well as enhancements to berthing facilities and shore-side infrastructure.

Consultant engineers Arch Henderson have been appointed to oversee delivery, whilst Ferguson’s Shipyard in Port Glasgow will fabricate and install the new linkspan.

Both appointments will reunite the team that successfully delivered upgrade projects to Western Ferries’s terminal at McInroy’s Point last year.

Red7Marine, which is based in Ipswich, has been brought on board to deliver the shore side infrastructure improvement works and enhancements to the berthing facilities, following their success in a competitive tendering process.

Western Ferries chose Red7Marine for this project because of their proven track record of successfully delivering high profile marine construction projects throughout the UK.

With an in-house engineering and consultancy team the firm is able to support clients throughout the project development phase, as well as delivering on-site activity.

The project is similar to work carried out last year at McInroy’s Point. This programme of investment will maintain and improve on the operational flexibility of Western Ferries’ services, for the benefit of the 1.3 million passengers who use the service each year.

Once completed, the upgraded berthing facilities will be better equipped to accommodate tidal variations and changeable weather conditions, which will lead to enhanced reliability and overall service resilience.

Work will get under way this month and is scheduled to be completed and fully operational by the end of next year.

Gordon Ross, managing director of Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd, said: “This is an exciting time as we prepare to embark on this £4m phase of improvement works.

“Western Ferries operates more than 32,000 sailings and carries 650,000 vehicles every year. In order to provide the most frequent and reliable service possible for the Cowal and Inverclyde communities, we are fully committed to ensuring that our infrastructure is robust and that our investment programme continues to benefit the thousands of passengers who use and rely on our services for work and leisure.”

Red7Marine’s managing director, Kristen Branford, added: “We have an excellent track record for delivery and are looking forward to working with Western Ferries to deliver this latest phase of enhancements and we are confident that the new facilities will be completed by the end of December.”

The works have been planned to ensure there will be the minimum of disruption to services during the construction period.