Responding to reports that ferry services to and from South Uist have been suspended since the weekend and will continued to be out of action on Thursday and Friday, and advice from Cal Mac that passengers who are able to do so can travel by foot to Lochmaddy on North Uist, more than 40 miles from South Uist’s Lochboisdale port, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie said:
“This is absolutely farcical.
“These cancellations are having a very real and tangible impact on entire communities.
“If airports or roads in the central belt were completely closed on random days, then the First Minister would be at the front of the queue demanding action.
“Tourists are having their plans upended and there is a real risk people lose confidence and decide to go elsewhere.
“Even worse, locals are seeing these cancellations become routine and wondering what this means for their lives and livelihoods.
“This is the fault of a Scottish Government which has failed to maintain the essential infrastructure of island living.
“Even the addition of the two half-finished and long overdue ferries at Ferguson Marine would not be enough to solve all these cancellations.
“The First Minister needs to bang some heads together.
“We need an urgent statement to parliament, with a commitment to revamp the aging ferry fleet and deliver long term solutions for islanders.”