Following news that Castlebay and Lochboisdale linkspans will have to close for some emergency repairs on lifting ropes, SNP MP Angus MacNeil has raised a number of questions about the length of closure and the sequencing of closure. 

Commenting Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil has said: 

“It is quite concerning that this is not timetabled work but instead is emergency work which has crept up on CMAL. The questions which arise now are when and for how long these linkspans will close.  Surely both cannot be closed together, which would be the equivalent of closing all the roads out of a major city, as there would then be no way in or out of the islands.  That would obviously be unacceptable. 

“I will also ask CMAL are there are still any side -loading ships in the fleet which don’t need linkspans. 

“Hopefully both linkspans will not be closed at the same time and therefore there will be an increased service on the Sound of Barra to at least mitigate the problems which this creates and perhaps two daily sailings between Lochboisdale and Mallaig. 

“Finally, I hope there will be some more thought and consultation on this before the work happens regardless. Surely it has been learnt from Uig Pier that consideration and consultation has to happen before any action is taken.”