Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has been in contact with Calmac following reports of a six week disruption to the Stornoway-Ullapool vehicle ferry service.

Angus MacNeil said:

“This is a huge shock to the transport network in Lewis.  The question has to be asked of CMAL as to when this situation became apparent.

“Calmac  told me yesterday evening that they are working on timetables and that they will meet with community stakeholders to work round this problem, but again, it begs the question why this was not on the radar long before now.

“It appears that the problem is not with the Loch Seaforth per se.  The problem is due to modifications required at Ullapool Harbour for the new vessel which means that vessels such as the Clansman or indeed an altered Isle of Lewis would not be able to use Ullapool as it currently stands.  Ullapool has one of the oldest linkspans in the Calmac network.

“It seems therefore that CMAL and Ullapool Harbour have decided to make alterations to the linkspan this winter rather than next winter.

“My big concern is the impact this will have on ferry users, both businesses and the wider community of Lewis, and it very important that communities and business are consulted urgently.”