Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has called for an additional ferry for
Stornoway - Ullapool crossing.
The MSP said there is “simply not enough capacity” on the route over the busy summer
with many sailings fully booked.
She said this prevented people travelling to attend funerals or visit relatives and
had a “detrimental effect on the wider economic environment.”
Mrs Grant added: ““Businesses are fearful that many of their bookings which have
been made for this coming season will suffer as they did last year. They fear that
the attraction of visiting the islands will decrease as the tourists find it impossible
to travel and then have to plan to go elsewhere.”
This led to involvement from Humza Yousaf, the Minister for Transport and Islands
looking into the possibility of locating a suitable vessel last year.
The MSP continued: “I appreciate that finding the special type of vessel required
for this route is not easy however following a bit of investigation it would appear
that the MV Clipper Ranger which previously served that exact purpose is available
and could be seen as at least one part of the solution to this serious situation.”
She concluded, “It is my attention to once again contact Cal Mac and Humza Yousef
to get this serious problem resolved well before the start of the season, which is
“There has been enough procrastination, it's action that is required now to ensure
that this truly is a life line service for the islanders.”