Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has called for compensation for island communities impacted by ferry cancellations due to technical issues.
Earlier today, CalMac announced that the MV Hebrides would again have to be withdrawn from serving Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig due to another issue with its firefighting system. Sailings for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on these routes have been cancelled.
The MV Hebrides only recently returned to service on Friday 29 July after undergoing repairs to her firefighting system.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“This is the height of the tourist season. For communities in Harris and Uist to be facing this level of disruption right now is simply inexcusable. I have been inundated with messages from islanders who are, quite frankly, fed up. It’s not good enough for people trying to go about their day to day lives and it’s having a real impact on local businesses.
“I have asked the Scottish Government to implement a compensation scheme which would utilise the financial penalties it receives for service loss, due to technical failures, redeployment or other avoidable cancellation, across the CalMac network. These funds, totalling around £3.5m for cancellations since 2021, should be diverted to island businesses in the form of a compensation for losses incurred.
“The only way to properly address these issues in the long term is to get more ships into CalMac’s fleet. There are more vessels in the pipeline, but in the here and now the reliability of the service desperately needs to improve.