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Saturday, April 13, 2024

MacNeil Comments on Island Ferry Issues

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Speaking as the MV Finlaggan has now left dry dock and the MV Lord of the Isles is due to return to the Lochboisdale Service, Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has said that this debacle of the last month must never happen again to Lochboisdale.

The cost to the community has been huge.

More and more people are travelling on ferries than ever before, and we must make sure that ferries are available.

Mr MacNeil called for some planning so that Lochboisdale never again takes the full burden of the loss of a vessel during the summer months.

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:

“Had a compromise been reached between Craignure, Castlebay and Lochboisdale all services could have been maintained, albeit with a bit of inconvenience rather than complete disruption as Lochboisdale faced.

“One of the main things that needs to happen soon is the upgrade of the pier at Craignure so that the MV Isle of Lewis can do runs to Mull to help with traffic there.

“This would have freed the MV Isle of Mull to do both Lochboisdale and Craignure and then by using the MV Loch Coruisk, the MV Loch Frisa, the MV Isle of Mull and the MV Isle of Lewis, Mull could have had a service, Barra could have had a delayed service and Lochboisdale could have had a service.

“It would not have been the ideal service to these ports but at least it would not have been anything like the non-service that Lochboisdale had.

“I will be writing to  Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Transport to suggest the linchpin of all this is the upgrade of Craignure pier. 

“Allied to this we must face the fact that we have problems with piers being owned by a number of organisations, they are critical island infrastructure and should be all under one umbrella.”

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