Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has welcomed confirmation from the Scottish Government that a charter has been agreed for the freight vessel MV Arrow for the Stornoway – Ullapool route.

The vessel will operate a number of overnight freight sailings, allowing the MV Loch Seaforth to provide additional passenger sailings at busy times over the summer period. The MV Arrow completed berthing trials over the weekend and CalMac will confirm details of its deployment shortly.

The islands MSP has repeatedly called for more capacity on the route and had raised the availability of the vessel with the Transport Minister.

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:

“This vessel will provide much needed additional capacity on a route which is coming under significant pressure – especially in the summer months. I am grateful to the Transport Minister for listening to the representations I, and others, have been making on this issue.

“The lack of bookable ferry capacity has been having a real impact on all aspects of island life. I hope the extra capacity this vessel will free up, along with the easing of the social distancing rules over the next few weeks, will make it much easier to get on and off island.

“Clearly this does not address every problem the ferry service is currently facing. I am very conscious of the pressures on other routes to and from the Western Isles, which I continue to raise with CalMac and the Government, but the MV Arrow represents a very important step forward.”

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