Highlands & Islands

Temporary ferry service for island music festivals

Image caption Additional ferry services have been added to the CalMac timetable

Caledonian MacBrayne has introduced a temporary ferry service between Mallaig and Barra following the breakdown of the vessel, MV Clansman.

The move will help ease travel disruption for music fans attending festivals on Tiree and Barra at the end of July.

CalMac has faced criticism over the disruption to services from Oban to South Uist, Barra and the Argyll Isles.

The MV Clansman has been out of service for more than a month.

The additional services will include deploying the MV Lochnevis between Mallaig and Castlebay.

CalMac managing director, Phil Preston, said: "We share everyone's frustration that the MV Clansman is not ready to resume her usual services and are doing everything we can to minimise disruption.

"The interim timetable has been working well with tens of thousands of ferry travellers continuing to be carried despite the disruptions, but we have always been mindful that there would be occasions when additional services may be required.

"As resources are severely stretched this was always going to be a challenge but we have identified some changes which we believe will provide people travelling to Tiree and Barra, with a few more options."

He added: "Some flexibility in customers' travel plans may be required, but we are sure they will appreciate the efforts being made to get them to and from these events."

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