Stornoway Port Authority, BAM Nuttall, Caledonian MacBrayne, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Police Scotland and other partners are asking members of the public for their patience during a period in which necessary construction works will be undertaken around the Stornoway Port in preparation for the arrival of the new MV Loch Seaforth, later this summer.
The first of these changes, part of a major improvement programme for ferry users in the Western Isles, has already taken place with the closure of the staff/long stay car park at the Stornoway ferry terminal. In order to accommodate the significant construction works at the ferry terminal, Caledonian MacBrayne will be transferring operations from the current ferry terminal to Pier No. 1 as from 5 May 2014. As previously advised, alterations are required to the infrastructure at Pier No.1 which will require the closure of the car park from Friday 18 April 2014. All users of this car park are therefore asked to ensure that their vehicles are removed from the car park by 6pm on Friday 18 April 2014.
Jane Maciver the Port Authority’s Chief Executive said “ We are delighted that works are now under way on what is a major project for us. It will mean some disruption to normal activities for which we have apologised in advance but we hope that everyone will understand the need for this. We have been working closely with the Comhairle and our other partners to keep disruption to a minimum without impacting the very tight project timetable”
Construction Project Manager, Graham Hopper of contractors BAM Nuttall commented “We realise that the construction works will mean that some members of the public will be asked to change their normal arrangements in respect of travel and car parking over the course of the construction period but we aim to keep disruption to a minimum. We ask for cooperation and patience as we all work towards getting the new ferry in to Stornoway”
Alasdair Henderson, CalMac’s Head of Harbours, said: “We are pleased to see the work underway to prepare the harbour for the arrival of the MV Loch Seaforth later this year and are sure everyone will want to do their bit to help the works progress as quickly as possible. Some inconvenience is inevitable but it is for a comparatively short period and we appreciate everyone’s patience while this work is carried out.”
Partner agencies apologise in advance for any parking disruption that these temporary measures may cause. The short stay parking area being constructed adjacent to the bus station as part of the new development is anticipated to be completed in early May 2014 and will be made available on a temporary basis to help alleviate some of the disruption to parking over the period when the car park at No. 1 pier is out of commission.
The public are encouraged to help minimise disruption by considering car sharing, parking out-with the town centre and avoiding the Pier No. 1 area, particularly when the ferry is discharging vehicles. The local Traffic Warden will have an active role in managing ferry traffic and ensuring that the Town Centre is kept free from obstructions. The Stornoway Port Authority and stakeholders will be monitoring the operation to help ensure minimal disruption.
Cllr John MacKay, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “We have been working closely with the Stornoway Port Authority and other partners in order to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum throughout the necessary works being undertaken to prepare for the arrival of the new ferry late this summer. Considerable work has been undertaken so far and I would commend the decision taken regarding the construction works at Ullapool, whereby potentially significant disruption to the sailings has been avoided by the off-site construction of the pier extension.”
The Stornoway Port Authority do appreciate that this summer is likely to be a busy time within the Stornoway Town Centre and has also been working with hauliers and the tourist industry in ensuring that normal business is maintained, and intends to keep the public informed with progress towards specific milestones and times of further possible impacts of the construction process. Members of the public can keep up to date with the progress of the project by following the project blog at http://stornoway-port-authority.tumblr.com