Craignure Pier Consultation

Craignure Pier Consultation

Argyll and Bute Council is considering options to secure the future of Craignure ferry terminal.

Plans being developed will cover not just the long-term future of the pier, but also what needs to be done now to make sure it can continue to operate in the medium term.

We understand what an important role Craignure Pier plays within the local community. Many people have already responded and we have been asked to extend the duration of the consultation, so that more people have time to put forward their views. This is something we are happy to do and look forward to receiving further input.

If you would like to respond, you are welcome to do on our online form here:

Craignure Pier consultation

If you would like a printed copy of the options for Craignure Pier and to give your view this way, please contact workingtogether@argyll-bute.gov.uk .

Background to Craignure Pier

About Craignure Ferry Terminal

Craignure ferry terminal is located on the west side of Craignure Bay, which is on the east coast of the Isle of Mull. 

Why is it important

It is the island terminus for the Oban – Craignure ferry service, and the busiest ferry route serving the communities of Mull and Iona. The ferry is operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd.

Who owns it?

Craignure ferry terminal is owned by Argyll and Bute Council. The terminal includes:

  • the main pier structure providing two berths, of which the main (north) berth has a linkspan and passenger access system (PAS);
  • a vehicle marshalling area;
  • a terminal building; and
  • a bus marshalling area. 

What’s the background?

The pier was built in the mid 60s and is now coming to the end of its useful operating life. Over time, passenger and vehicle numbers using the terminal have increased. This means the landside arrangements, for example passenger access, vehicle and bus marshalling, need to be re-assessed.

How can this be resolved?

The council commissioned Mott MacDonald Ltd (MML) and Stantec (then Peter Brett Associates LLP) to undertake a Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) study in 2018. This STAG looked at:

  • interim options to improve the terminal and extend its life-span; and
  • long-term options for replacing it.

Following the completion of the STAG study in early 2019, the council then commissioned MML and Stantec to put together an Outline Business Case (OBC) for the ‘Interim Options’ emerging from the STAG study.

What will the Outline Business Case consider?

What interim solution represents best value for money:

  • a pier extension: or
  • routine maintenance and minimal life extension works, together with the immediate progression of a long-term solution.

What needs to be considered?

It will take considerable time to commit to, develop and then implement a long-term solution for Craignure Pier. In the meantime, we still need to make sure the pier can operate. To do this we need to:

  • maintain the fendering;
  • refurbish the linkspan;
    • develop a temporary PAS solution; and extend the marshalling area into the land currently being purchased by the council.

The Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan 2016 report (published January 2018) states that:

“CFL plan to deploy the MV Hebrides as the primary summer-season vessel on the route once the second of the new vessels under construction (“vessel 802”) is delivered and deployed to the Uig-Tarbert-Lochmaddy services.” 

The latest delivery date from the shipyard for vessel 802 is December 2022 to February 2023.

The MV Isle of Mull or MV Isle of Arran would be the year-round vessel and also overnight at Craignure.  If this is the case, a pier extension would be required to provide a safe, secure and reliable berth, to support the length of the vessels and provide secure moorings seaward of the berthed vessel.

A pier extension would also be required to improve the reliability of seven nights per week overnighting of MV Isle of Mull at Craignure. This would offer the island-centric timetable and commutable day desired by residents of Mull and Iona.

What about the long-term plans?

We are already working on long-term plans for Craignure terminal and have four options under consideration. With the help of consultants Turner and Townsend, we’ve put together a short presentation to explain what these are.

Consultation dates: 

9 Feb 2021 to 28 Feb 2021

Email: