Posted on October 11, 2023
Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop was on the Isle of Harris yesterday to officially open the £22.5m Tarbert ferry terminal.
She toured the facilities with Kevin Hobbs, chief executive of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), before unveiling a plaque at the front of the new terminal building.
The harbour redevelopment was completed earlier this year, providing passengers with a new pier, fendering system and larger marshalling area.
The project was completed in partnership with principal contractor RJ McLeod and ferry operator CalMac, with support from consultants Wallace Stone and consenting and environmental specialists AFFRIC.
The development also saw local building firm Lewis Builders of Stornoway win the contract to construct the new terminal building, which has more seating for passengers.
Hyslop said: “I can already see that the new terminal building is popular with passengers and staff, and the new marine infrastructure is bringing benefits through increased marshalling areas and enhanced berthing facilities that will allow larger vessels to dock.
“I’d like to thank all the partners involved in delivering this upgrade for their hard work and congratulate them on the project winning a Scottish Civil Engineering Marine Infrastructure Award.”
The harbour will be home to one of two vessels under construction at Cemre Marin Endustri shipyard in Turkey. The two 94.8-metre vehicle and passenger ferries will replace the one vessel that currently covers the two Little Minch routes; Uig to Lochmaddy and Uig to Tarbert.
Hobbs said: “The terminal is now a much more comfortable place for passengers awaiting the ferry, and Tarbert Harbour is well prepared for the new ferry due to arrive in 2025.”
Robbie Drummond, chief executive for CalMac, added: “This project has greatly improved the experience for our passengers and crew alike, while creating a welcoming starting point for visitors who come to experience our islands.“
CMAL is tasked with delivering vessel and harbour investment, backed by a £700m from the Scottish Government over a five-year period from 2021 to 2026. Plans are underway to deliver 21 new vessels for the fleet and multi-million-pound upgrade of harbour infrastructure over the next 10 years.
CMAL owns 26 harbours on the west coast of Scotland which support the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service. It also owns 37 ferries, 32 of which are leased to CalMac on routes to the islands and peninsulas of the west of Scotland, and five are leased to Serco Northlink Ferries for Orkney and Shetland routes.