A MAJOR £1.2m project to repair the linkspan at Gourock Ferry Terminal is due to get under way early next month.

The work will ensure that Gourock is returned to its former status as a port of refuge for vehicle ferries unable to berth at other Clyde coast piers in adverse weather.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has awarded the contract to civil engineering firm George Leslie Ltd.

Passenger-only ferries on the Gourock-Dunoon route will be impacted by the work — expected to last nine weeks — with vessels having to berth at the boat steps to the side of the linkspan.

Paul Colenso of CMAL said: "We know passengers have been inconvenienced due to age-related issues with the linkspan.

"The infrastructure is old and will benefit from being replaced, but in the meantime, these life-extending measures will improve the resilience of the linkspan until a new one is built as part of the terminal redevelopment.

"We recognise a nine-week closure period will present some challenges for passengers and we intend to make every effort to reduce the closure period, if it's possible to do so during construction."

Work on the repair will start on October 5 and is scheduled to be completed on December 23.