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The chairman of the Uist economic taskforce working group has expressed strong concern
about the present ferry chaos in Uist.
Iain A. Macneil also hit out at Cal Mac’s “unsatisfactory approach” to proving services.
Mr MacNeil said: “It is hugely disappointing that the MV Hebrides is being replaced
on the Lochmaddy triangular route over the Easter period.
“This change is totally inappropriate and will affect individuals, communities and
He warned the replacement ferry does not carry as much goods or vehicles which will
impact the local economy.
“Given the economic challenges presently faced by Uist it is unacceptable that these
challenges are being exacerbated by Cal Mac and their poorly-judged approach to this
lifeline route, he added.
Problems created by having a smaller vessel on the route was stressed to Transport
Minister Humsa Yousaf when he met with island delegates.
Mr Macneil believes Cal Mac relegates Uist to the “bottom of the queue” and “repeatedly
de-prioritises” the island with their approach to vessel selection on Uist routes.
Making matters worse is that Lochboisdale has also suffered an “unprecedented level
of disruption” over the last few months.
Mr Macneil highlighted: “Uist has a magnificent tourism product. We have a fantastic
environment, an unrivalled cultural heritage, first class visitor attractions and
a warm and welcoming approach.
“We are growing our tourism economy incrementally year-on-year.
“Cal Mac should be working with us to help grow that market and not be finding ways
to inhibit growth, which they appear to be doing at present.”
Uist task force voice concerns over ferry services
30 March 2018