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.

Stornoway-Ullapool freight ferry service to resume after suspension led to criticism

Islanders are calling for contingency plans. Picture supplied by CalMac.
Islanders are calling for contingency plans. Picture supplied by CalMac.

A night freight ferry service will return to the Stornoway-Ullapool route this weekend after its suspension led to severe criticism of operators CalMac.

The issue was caused by the MV Loch Seaforth being removed from service this week after a major breakdown.

In the meantime the MV Isle of Lewis was picking up the day service for passengers and for freight on the route. But the overnight freight service had been suspended until further notice.

It led to Roddie Mackay, the leader of Western Isles Council, accusing CalMac of being “out of touch” and said it showed a lack of sensitivity to island issues and the economic pressures being faced.

However the night service will resume on Saturday with an additional evening sailing, and continue until Wednesday.

MV Loch Seaforth

CalMac said work is ongoing to continue this timetable beyond Wednesday and this will be confirmed as soon as possible.

The Loch Seaforth is on its way to the James Watt dock in Greenock where specialist engineers will complete necessary repairs.

Full investigation into cause of breakdown

CalMac said it is too early to speculate on the cause of the engine failure and a full investigation into the cause will also be carried out.

The ferry operator is continuing to engage with the key businesses affected by the removal of the Loch Seaforth, and they are being kept updated about all developments.

It said while the possibility of temporarily hiring other vessels has been investigated, no suitable options are available for use at present.

Passengers looking to make bookings for the Ullapool-Stornoway service are being advised to regularly check service updates, CalMac social media channels, and the website for the latest advice.

Robert Morrison, operations director for CalMac, said: “Getting freight moving to and from the island has been a priority since the Loch Seaforth was taken out of service, and we have been working non-stop to find a solution.

“Losing a major vessel is frustrating for everyone and it is vital to have her repaired and returned to service as soon as possible.”

The council has previously accused CalMac of  “high handed disregard” for customers over freight services.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]