Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan on Friday 9 November chaired a Ferries Summit in Benbecula. The islands MSP organised the summit to discuss the significant disruption and timetable changes ferry services for Uist have experienced over the course of the last year.

The Scottish Government Minister with portfolio responsibility for ferries and islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, and the Managing Directors of Calmac and CMAL were in attendance along with agencies such as HITRANs, HIE and Transport Scotland, community and business representatives, and local councillors.

The summit discussed issues such as vessel deployment, booking systems, economic growth in Uist and the impact of disruption on local businesses, transport connectivity, tourism’s role in the local economy and updates on current and future investment in services and infrastructure.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“This was a very useful and productive meeting. By getting all the key players in the same room we were able to have a comprehensive look at Uist’s ferry services. I would like to thank all those who took the time to attend, especially the Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP, and Uist Councillors for their help in organising the summit.

“There was an assurance that the Government would investigate any potential vessels for leasing that were viable and fulfilled the objective of providing resilience across the network. The Minister agreed, amongst other things, to see what could be done to improve Calmac’s booking system, with Calmac also to review how passengers are kept up to date in the event of cancelled or delayed sailings.

“With the financial constraints the Scottish Government faces as a result of a budget cut of nearly £2 billion since 2010 by the UK Government, it is important that we make the best possible case that we can for further funding and investment in ferries services. I think the summit has certainly strengthened that case.”

Cruinnich - bringing communities together

Twitter latest


Subscribe to Alasdair's mailing list

By ticking this box you confirm you would like to receive updates from Alasdair Allan MSP by

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.