Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Former Government minister calls for review of CalMac

The CalMac ferry MV Hebridean Isles arriving at Castlebay on the Island of Barra.
The CalMac ferry MV Hebridean Isles arriving at Castlebay on the Island of Barra.

A former Scottish Office minister has called for an independent review of “current and future issues affecting west coast ferry services”.

Brian Wilson, who served in Tony Blair’s governments and now lives on the Isle of Lewis, has spoken out following more disruption on Caledonian MacBrayne’s routes – which saw a ferry diverted to save guests from missing the wedding of Roddy Macinnes and Lisa Gilmour on Barra at the weekend.

Following huge pressure from the Barra community, councillor Donald Manford and Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, CalMac dispatched the MV Isle of Mull to the island after the MV Isle of Lewis broke down on Thursday.

Mr Wilson, who is chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides – and a UK Government business advisor – said: “This is now a case of the whole being bigger than the sum of the parts.

“It is completely unfair on CalMac Ferries and the people who work for them that they are at the sharp end of every crisis while the causes are largely outside their control.”

Mr Wilson’s call came off the back of an open letter from a CalMac skipper, retiring after 34 years, who warned: “Attention needs to be focused on the infrastructure problems if the company I’ve been proud to serve is not to fall flat on its face fairly soon.

“Our piers were built maybe 70 years ago for puffers to dry out alongside. We added linkspans and dolphins and called them ro-ro terminals.”

CalMac said it continues to work with Transport Scotland to find “new flexible and effective approaches to address the on-going challenges of operating an ageing fleet with an increasing number of sailings.”

Managing director Robbie Drummond said: “We are operating with an ageing fleet which is increasingly being stretched.

“We need to continue to find new ways to maximise our vessels operational resilience and have invested in a new team that will help mitigate potential problems before they escalate into something that impacts on service delivery.”

“With our vessels setting sail around 360 times every day, this team has the mobility required to complete planned maintenance when and where it is needed on the network minimising disruption to service due to technical issues.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]