Arran Banner letters add – week 40

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CMAL has agreed to commission a study to look at impacts of easterly winds, waves and swell at Brodick. This will include the possible construction of a breakwater. 

The move was suggested in a letter to the transport minister Graeme Dey from the Arran Ferry Action Group. Here is his reply. 


Thank you for your letter dated September 13 2021 on behalf of the Arran Ferry Action Group (AFAG) regarding the mis-alignment of Brodick pier and the direct impact of this on the resilience of ferry services to Arran.

I am aware that Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) has already communicated with AFAG on the design of the new Brodick pier therefore I will not go over this, but will re-affirm the position that the berth orientation was the optimum solution delivered at Brodick.

You have outlined that the best solution to address this mis-alignment would be for CMAL to construct a breakwater to the east giving protection to moored vessels from the North East to South East wind-generated sea swells.

The breakwater being constructed from dumped rock rubble and concrete tetrapod blocks as illustrated in the sketches attached to your correspondence at an estimated cost of around £10million.

CMAL has confirmed that it is commissioning a study of the impacts of easterly winds/waves/swell at Brodick.

The study will look to analyse the conditions that lead to cancellations informed by various data sets such as wind, wave and weather as well as obtaining input from vessel masters from CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL); with the objective being to identify all potential solutions and/or mitigation measures that can be implemented including the construction of a breakwater as suggested.

CMAL expect to commence the data gathering exercise and study during winter 2021/22 and will feedback to Transport Scotland who will fully consider any recommendations as a result of the study.

I thank AFAG for its suggestion. Following receipt of your letter I took the opportunity to discuss any issues around berthing, with the vessel master myself, whilst travelling to Arran on my recent visit.


Graeme Dey,

Minister for Transport,

Scottish Government.

Transport minister Graeme Dey on his recent tour of the ferry terminal in Brodick with CalMac managing director Robbie Drummond and Arran port manager Colin McCort. 01_B39minister07


Ferry access


I recently needed to go to Ayr Hospital for an appointment. I travelled as a foot passenger.

Having bought my ticket in the booking office I then walked the 12 paces to the foot of the stairs. I then took a further 36 paces up the stairs to the waiting-room, 18 more to present my ticket and then a further 73 paces to wend my way round the Covid-spaced chairs to the walkway. Then followed 198 paces along the walkway, making a total of 337 paces to set foot on the boat.

On my return, it was 56 paces from the booking office to the foot of the ramp, 33 paces up the ramp, and I was on the boat. A total of 89 paces at the as-yet-unimproved Ardrossan terminal.

Could the management of CMAL explain how their Brodick improvements have
benefited foot passengers, particularly the older and less sprightly?


John Gibson,