Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil and Harris Councillor Grant Fulton met with Leader of Highland Council, Raymond Bremner, on Friday to raise concerns about the lengthy closure of Uig Harbour.

Also at the meeting were Highland Council engineers to hear the concerns of the community and businesses about the impact of this closure.

Mr MacNeil said: “Work is already underway and money has already been committed to the project which leaves a difficult situation as the harbour will be unavailable for ferry use for a long time.

“It is quite staggering to hear how far down the line this project is with so much money already committed. The difficulty is that this is an already expensive project and delays make it even more so, that much was very apparent to myself and Cllr Fulton.

 “I do feel that there are other ways this project could have been done, perhaps building a new harbour around the current one, to the north and east of it might have been a solution. However, the project that is being undertaken has not left much room to manoeuvre at this stage. One of the issues which became apparent was that for floodworks or tramworks in Edinburgh a decade ago, there was room for compensation, for business loss. Perhaps the law should be changed in Scotland that harbour works that lead to business loss should result in compensation. 

“At this stage, there is no ideal situation for the six months of loss of Uig Harbour. It just goes to show the difficulties we have in all aspects of ferry connection and travel particularly as demand has grown in the last number of years.”

Cllr Grant Fulton said: “It was a constructive meeting with the Highland Council and various options were discussed regarding Uig and other alternative transport options. Further discussions are required with Transport Scotland and CMAL.”