‘It Was The Slate Roof What Won It’ for the pier’s 2017 RICS Scotland Award
Somewhat off camera is the slate roof which covers the Wemyss Bay pier walkway. Image by David Falconer (via Shutterstock).
An iconic pier on the banks of the River Clyde has won the 2017 RICS Scotland Award for Best Infrastructure Project. The Wemyss Bay pier walkway was singled out for the award on the 27 April at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh. Its restoration work included restoring the wooden panels to Caledonian Railway colours and its slate roof.
The timber walkway with its slate roof dates from 1903. It connects the CalMac ferry service to the Isle of Bute with direct trains to Glasgow Central. Additional works included a substantial upgrade of its vehicle linkspan, plus the partial demolition and reconstruction of its 1970s load-restricted pier.
Prior to 2014, Wemyss Bay pier, railway station, and ferry terminal was looking the worse for wear. The restoration of its walkway (offering seamless transfer from train to ferry) was a small but significant part of the wider scheme. The work was carried out by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited, the port’s owners.
Wemyss Bay pier is used as a ferry terminal for Caledonian MacBrayne’s sailings to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. 675,000 passengers and 180,000 vehicles a year cross the Clyde estuary to the island. Regular train services to Glasgow Central terminate there, forming part of Abeillo Scotrail’s Inverclyde Line.
The Wemyss Bay ferry terminal and railway station. Note the slate roof on its walkway. Image by David Falconer (via Shutterstock).