Corran Ferry news

Ian Taylor, contracts manager with George Leslie and Morag Mackintosh, landowner, with other key workers at the newly refurbished slipway at Nether Lochaber for the MV Corran

Corran Ferry returns to normal (17/12/10)

Today (Friday 17 December, 2010), the MV Corran returned to its normal duties on the Nether Lochaber slipway.  Despite the recent adverse wintry weather the contractor, George Leslie, has kept on schedule and has succeeded in completing the works to the slipway one week early providing a most welcome Christmas present for the local community.  

The floating pier is now being dismantled and will be departing from Corran on Sunday (19 December).  The public are reminded that between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday 19 December there will be a suspension of the ferry to allow the tug   to manoeuvre the barge from its onshore foundations and moorings.  The floating pier owned by JST Services Ltd has been a big success and has operated efficiently as a temporary berth for the ferry since October.

Councillor Brian Murphy, Vice-Chairman of The Highland Council’s Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee,  said that the council were indebted to the community for there forbearance over the period of the contract and was pleased that the works were finished on time.  In particular the Council were indebted to the local landowner Morag Macintosh for her assistance and help throughout the contract and making key areas of land available for the contractor.

Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader of the Council’s Administration, said: “This investment will secure the future of the ferry and its operation onto the slipway well into the future and I am delighted that an innovative solution has been found to keep the ferry operational during the complex works to the slipway. I also would like to thank the community for their support over the past few months.”

Normal service to be resumed at Corran Ferry on 17 December (08/12/10)

The Highland Council is on target to resume a normal service at the Corran Ferry in West Lochaber from Friday 17 December following a major refurbishment of the Nether Lochaber slipway.

The MV Corran returns to service on this date to replace the Maid of Glencoul, which has been used during the remedial works at Nether Lochaber, where a temporary pier has ensured continued service.

There will be a three-hour loss of service between 2 – 5 pm on Sunday 19 December to allow for essential works in dismantling the temporary pier.

Over the last few weeks, the contractor, George Leslie Ltd, has been working 24 hours per day 7 days per week with 2 shifts each day to keep on target.  A novel precast slab design incorporated into the insitu concrete at the remote end of the slipway will ensure good quality durable concrete on the surface of the slipway which is mostly below low water and will also save time for curing the concrete in the latter weeks of the contract.
Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader of the Council’s Administration and a local councillor, said the Council appreciated the patience of the ferry user public during the period of the contract and was indebted to all the Community Councils who have supported the development and planning of the works.
He said “I am delighted that the innovative Spud Leg Barge has succeeded in providing an alternative temporary berth for the Maid of Glencoul and although much of this is down to the dedication of the site contracting team it is also due to the skill and experience of the ferrymen who know the waters well and who have made an enormous effort to keep the ferry running in a safe and efficient manner. It is notable that the ferrymen’s efforts have not gone unnoticed and at the Council’s recent Quality Awards Ceremony, they picked up the award for Innovation of the Year.”

Sam MacNaughton, Head of Transport and Infrastructure, said the temporary pier (Spud Leg barge) supplied by John Scott of JST Ltd had operated admirably with the ferry berthing smoothly throughout the contract.  The Council was fortunate in having an experienced team delivering the contract with Ian Taylor of G Leslie Ltd., Northwest Marine, the diving sub-contractor, Colin Campbell of Campbell Marine along with Kevin Silverton the Council’s Resident Engineer, who has extensive experience on marine contracts throughout the West Highlands.
The timetable for the return to normal operations is:

  • Friday 17 December:  MV “Corran” returns to normal service on the Nether Lochaber slipway. The floating pier is de-ballasted and temporary berthing steelwork is removed.
  • Saturday 18 December: Temporary barrier and lighting is removed from floating pier and toe rail reinstated.
  • Sunday 19 December: Temporary floating pier is removed from site at high water. It should be noted that on Sunday 19 December, there will be temporary interruption of the ferry  between 2 – 5 pm to allow for tug manoeuvring when the barge is disengaged from the seabed.
  • Monday 20 December onwards:   All moorings uplifted, temporary founds, jack leg pocket and temporary access reinstated and site is cleared.

The contractor plans to have the site completely reinstated before Christmas although there may be some minor works outstanding to be carried out in the New Year but this will not affect the operation of the ferry.

Timetable update - 28 October 2010

Following successful “after dark” running trials using floodlighting, the timetable on the Corran Ferry between Ardgour and Nether Lochaber is being extended from Monday 1 November. The timetable is:-

Sunday 31 October:   First sailing Ardgour 8.30am (normal timetable); last sailing Nether Lochaber 6pm (as previously publicised) 

Thereafter Mondays to Saturdays: First sailing Ardgour 7am; last sailing Nether Lochaber 7pm 

Sundays: First sailing Ardgour 8.30am; last sailing Nether Lochaber 7pm

All times are subject to favourable weather for operation from the temporary floating pier, which has been installed at Nether Lochaber while the slipway there is refurbished.

The timetable will remain in place until the works are completed.

The contract is being carried out for The Highland Council by George Leslie Ltd.

Between now and Monday 1 November the ferry will operate (Monday - Saturday) between 8 am (from Ardgour) and 6 pm (from Nether Lochaber).

Council Leader Michael Foxley said: “I am pleased that the trials have proved successful and we are able to extend the operating hours of the ferry. The Council once again wishes to thank users of the ferry for their co-operation and understanding during these essential improvements to the Nether Lochaber slipway.”

Note: There is currently a 3 tonne weight restriction on Corran Ferry.