The addition of the vessel, MV Utne, to the Calmac fleet is a step in the right direction, says Isles MP Angus MacNeil.

“This is a welcome step in the right direction.”

Mr MacNeil welcomed the news that a deal has been reached to purchase a ferry for deployment on the Clyde and Hebrides network – a move that should relieve some of the current pressures on the network.

Deployment details will be confirmed by CalMac in due course, subject to the vessel achieving MCA certification and the completion of crew training and sea trials.  Engagement work is now underway with key stakeholders to develop detailed deployment, cascade and related timetables for the 2022 summer season.

Mr MacNeil said: “This is a welcome step in the right direction. The islands are popular and demand will keep growing but we also need a booking management system that gives different time-length opportunities for booking.”

The MV Utne has been earmarked for the Oban-Craignure route, and communities in Skye and the Western Isles will also benefit as a result of the cascade of vessels elsewhere on the network.