Confusion, delays and cancellations have enveloped the Bank Holiday ferry services from Tarbert and Lochmaddy which are temporarily being undertaken by the Hebridean Isles ferry, dating from 1985
Isles MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has contacted Caledonian MacBrayne because of what he termed “the acute situation with the ferry service from Uig to Lochmaddy.”
Mr MacNeil has raised a number of suggestions with CalMac which he believes could help get the MV Hebrides back on the route.
Angus MacNeil said: “Clearly the MV Hebridean Isles is not coping and Uist is suffering as a result.
“The already fragile Uist economy was hit particularly hard by the situation over the Easter weekend, when the Hebridean Isles was clearly inadequate for the service. It remains the case that it is not coping with the demands of being on the Uig triangle.
“I am hoping that CalMac will listen to the options raised, and the message is clear – we have to get the MV Hebrides back on the Lochmaddy route.”
Meanwhile today (Monday 2nd April) because of weather conditions, the 07:20 and 16:20 sailings from Tarbert to Uig were cancelled, as were later sailings to Lochmaddy. The 14:10 sailing from Uig to Tarbert departed early at 12:29. Foot passengers who wished to get to Uig can take the W10 bus from Tarbert at 11:30 to arrive in Stornoway at 12:30, catch the 14:00 sailing from Stornoway-Ullapool, arriving 16:30 where a minibus will then convey passengers to Uig.
Journey time from Ullapool to Uig is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. There will be no additional cost incurred and passengers can use their Tarbert-Uig tickets.
CalMac appeared confused about this earlier with would-be travellers reporting to welovestornoway.com that they had been asked to pay extra to travel via Stornoway.
Meanwhile the 11:45 sailing from Lochmaddy had been rescheduled to 05:00 but because of wind and berthing issues at Lochmaddy, the vessel departed late at 07:05 and arrived in Uig at 09:00.
And tomorrow (Tuesday 3rd April) because of an adverse weather forecast of high winds all sailings on both routes to Uig are cancelled. There is the option for customers to travel from Stornoway at 07:00 and 14:00 and also from Ullapool at 10:30 and 17:30 but the Stornoway-Ullapool service is also on yellow alert due to weather conditions.