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Hebrides News


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 businesses.


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