Highlands & Islands

Council 'can't be seen subsidising' Corran Ferry

Corran Ferry Image copyright Roger davies/geograph
Image caption The Corran Ferry operates on Loch Linnhe

Highland Council could end its running of the Corran Ferry in Lochaber because it continues to run at a loss.

The local authority said that under European State Aid rules it should not be subsidising the service.

Councillors have been asked to consider three options for the future of the crossing on Loch Linnhe.

The options are increasing fares to meet the running costs, retendering the service or transferring it to government agency Transport Scotland.

Council officers will publish a detailed report on the service in 2015.

In a statement, the local authority said: "We want to be as open and transparent as possible.

"Rural deprivation is a key issue, but this is the position - state aid regulations mean that we can't be seen to continue to subsidise the running of the ferry and we have therefore presented three options for closing the funding gap."

Community services chairman Graham Mackenzie added: "We are committed to doing the best we can for the people in the community, within the legal framework."

Image copyright Doug Lee/Geograph
Image caption The MV Maid of Glencoul is the reserve vessel on the route

Two vessels are available to the service, the MV Corran and a reserve ferry, MV Maid of Glencoul.

The Corran Ferry allows access to and from the communities of Ardgour, Morvern and Ardnamurchan via a narrow stretch of Loch Linnhe in Lochaber.

It is also used by people and businesses on Mull, who first travel to the mainland on the Fishnish-Lochaline ferry.

The Corran Ferry and Fishnish-Lochaline services also offer tourists an alternative to the Oban to Mull ferry.

Two vessels are available to the service, the MV Corran and a reserve ferry, MV Maid of Glencoul.

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