Angus MacNeil MP is urging the Scottish Government to react more quickly given the constraints on ferries.
This follows receipt of a letter from Transport Minister, Graeme Dey MSP which states that the Scottish Government are not contemplating looking at ferry capacity until 9th August.
Commenting Mr MacNeil said:
“I know there is a lot of frustration and difficulty for people trying to get a booking on ferries. This is the peak summer season and by 9th August the demand will have eased. I would therefore urge the Scottish Government to look at the range of factors and to review ferry capacity restrictions with their civil servants to see if an earlier change is possible. It would be silly to reach August and say things could have changed 3 weeks ago but that the Government didn’t get round to checking in the intervening period. We are at the crunch point right now.
“At present trans-minch ferries are running at an average of 35% capacity, CalMac tell me. I’m not suggesting the 100% that is being hinted for the 9th of August but meantime somewhere sensibly in between so islanders can at least come and go.
“It does seem strange that planes can fly as full as they ever were, but ferry capacity is restricted. This is leading to huge difficulties on the islands, we have been at level zero for a long time now. I am writing back to the Transport Minister on these terms as I know that CalMac are prepared to implement increased capacity sooner than 9th August if Government guidance allows.”