MOD requirement for the port at Gourck to be able to handle vehicles

Currently waiting for a response from Ministry of Defence, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Ministry of Defence,

Ferry services from the isles of Arran and Bute use Gourock as a Port of Refuge. The summer sailings from Campbeltown may also do this.

In 2015/16 the Bute sailings had to use Gourock for a period of 6 months whilst their normal port of Wemyss Bay was undergoing essential maintenance.

At the beginning of October 2019 the vehicle linkspans at both Gourock and Ardrossan failed simultaneously. This resulted in the loss of the vehicle ferry service to Arran which caused considerable disruption to the island. Although that service has been restored Gourock remains unable to handle vehicle traffic and its long term future is in doubt as CMAL, who are responsible for port maintenance, have stated that there is “no appetite” for undertaking extensive works.

The Dunoon Gourock Ferry Action Group (DGFAG) believes that the MOD have, or have had, an interest in the port at Gourock being able to handle military vehicles.

In the above context under the Freedom of Information Act can you please provide the following information;

1. Does or did the MOD ever have an interest in the port at Gourock being able to handle vehicles.

2. Has the MOD been made aware that Gourock may cease to be able to handle vehicles.

3. Has the MOD had any discussions with Caledonian Maritime assets Ltd (CMAL), Transport Scotland, or any other body regarding the port at Gourock ceasing to be able to carry vehicles.

4. If the MOD no longer requires Gourock to be able to handle vehicles was that change of requirements based in any way on a presumption that ports such as Ardrossan could be used instead.

Yours faithfully,
Mr R Trybis
Information Officer
Dunoon Gourock Ferry Action Group