Highlands & Islands

Cumbrae ferry suspended due to 'extreme passenger' numbers

MV Loch Riddon Image copyright CalMac
Image caption Sailings of the Largs-Cumbrae ferry, the MV Loch Riddon, were temporarily suspended on Friday

Day trips from Largs to the Isle of Cumbrae have been suspended due to "extreme passenger volume" on the ferry service.

The wait for vehicles to board the boat for the sailing to the popular North Ayrshire visitor destination had earlier reached three hours.

The suspension of the Cumbrae ferry came amid a day of warm weather across Scotland, with temperatures above 20C.

The weather also drew crowds to lochs Morlich and Muick in the Cairngorms.

Image copyright CNPA
Image caption Vehicles on road verges at Loch Muick

CalMac said its sailings to Cumbrae were already limited due to restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman said: "We are advising people that we cannot guarantee that they will be able to get to the island and off again as a day trip.

"We would urge people to think about whether their journey is necessary and to think of key workers and island residents who really need to travel."

Loch Morlich, the location of Britain's highest beach near Aviemore, was busy and rows of cars were parked on verges near Loch Muick in Aberdeenshire.

The Cairngorm National Park Authority has asked people to consider alternative locations to enjoy the mountain area if sites are crowded.

Image copyright CNPA
Image caption The beach at Loch Morlich on Friday

Balmoral Castle Estate said the car park at Loch Muick was "overflowing" and driving conditions were "hazardous".

Scottish Natural Heritage said the car park at Muir of Dinnet in Aberdeenshire had quickly reached full capacity on Friday.

It asked people to go to "plan B or C" if places were busy.