Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan and MP Angus MacNeil have today welcomed proposals for dedicated, daily return services on the Oban-Barra and Lochboisdale-Mallaig routes to begin next summer.

This was announced by Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay MSP, earlier today as part of an enhanced timetable being proposed for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) network.

Among the proposed enhancements are:

  • A daily direct return service between Oban-Barra with a dedicated vessel, delivering a considerable increase in capacity.
  • A daily direct return service between Lochboisdale-Mallaig using a dedicated vessel.

CalMac will now undertake a consultation process with communities across the network, with a view to bringing these enhancements in as part of next summer’s timetable.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“These proposals represent a significant improvement to the summer ferry service for people in both Barra and South Uist. I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has recognised the long running argument made in Uist for a for a summer service to between Lochboisdale and Mallaig while seeing the distinctive needs of the community in Barra and improving the summer service from Castlebay to Oban.

“While the detail of these improvements would obviously have to be worked out with the communities concerned the move towards having dedicated vessels for each of the two islands is a very encouraging one. I look forward to working with the communities and the Transport minister over the coming months to ensure the best possible service is provided.”

Angus MacNeil said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear of this improvement for the longest of the Cal Mac routes which is in the south end of the Outer Hebrides, serving Barra and South Uist. This is an improvement on a magnificent scale.”

Angus MacNeil said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear of this improvement for the longest of the Cal Mac routes which is in the south end of the Outer Hebrides, serving Barra and South Uist. This is an improvement on a magnificent scale.”