Community representatives on Mull and Iona have written to Argyll and Bute Council demanding it take action over the poor condition of Craignure Pier.
The groups ask the local authority, which owns the pier, that improvements are made urgently and warns that the situation has reached crisis point.
They say the pier must be brought up to standard in order to cope with a new larger vessel in 2020.
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The need for CalMac to berth a major vessel overnight at Craignure was highlighted in the first Ferries Plan in 2012.
In the letter, it is pointed out: “The vessel currently allocated to replace the under-sized MV Coruisk as from the summer of 2020 is the MV Hebrides. In order to maintain the two-vessel summer service, it is therefore essential that Craignure pier is ready to accept the MV Isle of Mull or the MV Hebrides overnight just 15 months from now.”
It continues: “Should Craignure Pier not be ready in time for the arrival of the MV Hebrides, it would be a complete failure of planning and management on the part of Argyll and Bute Council, for which there could be no excuse.
“Craignure Pier has been neglected by the council over many years, netting up to £1.4million in pier dues annually, yet stumbling on with unrepaired fenders, a bodged-together second-hand passenger access system and an ageing linkspan still with no date for refurbishment.
“The situation has now reached a critical crisis point, demonstrated by evident nervousness on the part of CalMac’s Masters and increasing cancellations. Craignure Pier is hugely profitable for the council, and is deserving of this urgent investment without compromising other projects.”
The letter has been signed by representatives from Mull Community Council, Mull and Iona Community Trust, Iona Community Council and Mull and Iona Ferry Committee.
A spokeswoman for the council said: “A solution for Craignure Pier will be found in partnership between the council, Transport Scotland, CalMac and CMAL, and talking with the community.
“We recently ended a consultation, through a Scottish Transport Analysis Guide (STAG) appraisal, which gave local people the chance to put forward their views. This will inform any solution which will be developed and designed in detail.
“Any final business case will be considered by council members and Transport Scotland is likely to play an important part in the scale of works and funding model.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “While the funding for improvements to Craignure Pier is a matter for Argyll and Bute Council, meetings have been arranged for next month to discuss this with both the council and the Mull and Iona Ferry Committee.”