ISLANDS MSP ASKS GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER FREIGHT VESSEL CHARTER

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan earlier today raised ferry capacity issues during First Minister’s Questions.

The islands MSP mentioned the disruption to haulage on the Stornoway – Ullapool route over the weekend caused by the MV Hebridean Isles developing a technical issue, and asked if the Scottish Government would consider the chartering of a freight vessel for the Stornoway to Ullapool route.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“The scenes we saw over the weekend with lorries backed up at Stornoway ferry terminal should not be repeated.

“Although the welcome return of MV Loch Seaforth to the route should help, the incident raises wider concerns about what happens when the vessel next goes into dry dock or ever suffers a similar breakdown to the one which has seen her out of action for seven weeks.

“I welcome the First Minister’s statement that the Government is actively exploring opportunities for chartering additional tonnage. I very much hope that the chartering of a freight vessel for the Stornoway to Ullapool route will be part of those considerations, as the advantages of it have never been clearer.”

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