Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan has re-iterated his call for the leasing of an additional vessel to boost’s CalMac’s fleet following the appointment of a new Transport Minister.

Ferry services to the Western Isles and other west coast island communities have been seriously disrupted following CalMac’s largest vessel, the MV Loch Seaforth, being taken out of service five weeks ago because of engine problems.

The Western Isles MSP, along with his colleagues Jenni Minto MSP and Kenneth Gibson MSP, wrote to Graeme Dey MSP yesterday. The MSPs asked what steps the Scottish Government would be taking to secure additional vessels and specifically asked for the chartering of MV Pentalina to be considered.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“I continue to hear from islanders and island businesses about the serious difficulties they’re having due to the latest disruption.

“With most ferries serving the Western Isles fully booked for the next two and a half weeks, the return of the MV Loch Seaforth cannot come quickly enough. However, this will not address the long-term problem of there not being enough resilience in the fleet to cope with major vessels breaking down; only more ships can do that.

“I welcome the Minister for Transport to his new role and look forward to working with him on the problems facing island transportation over the coming weeks and months.”

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