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The passenger access system which allows foot passengers to board MV Loch Seaforth at Stornoway could be under repair as early as the end of this month, it’s been reported.

The bridge system linking the CalMac terminal to the passenger door of the ferry has been out of operation since December last year, with foot passengers required to embark and disembark via the car deck.

But a local source today (Monday 10 April) confirmed that the parts needed to complete the repair were being shipped this week from Italy to the manufacturers, Spanish firm Adelte.

Parts are then expected to be shipped on to Stornoway and it’s hoped that both Adelte engineers and the right parts will be on site for a repair to begin ‘within the next two weeks.’ The repair itself is expected to take up to six days.

Stornoway Port Authority, who commissioned and are responsible for the linkway, told last month that supply chain challenges had led to delays in the repair process.

They said: “The repair required was larger than initially thought and additional specialist components were not immediately available. We now anticipate that works will begin at the end of April.”

Ullapool’s passenger access system, also engineered and installed by Adelte, was out of commission for some days in March this year.

Adelte has come under fire elsewhere, with a similar passenger access system fitted at Brodick in Arran, where it has failed repeatedly after causing significant delays to the new Brodick ferry terminal opening.

In July 2017, CMAL’s head of civil engineering, Ramsay Muirhead said: “Unfortunately, Adelte has experienced unexpected delays in the delivery of our order, which will impact on the completion of the overall terminal redevelopment project.

“Clearly, we are very disappointed, particularly as all other areas of the project have remained on track with our scheduled completion dates.”

The pictures show passengers boarding MV Loch Seaforth via the car deck earlier this year (Fred Silver), the Stornoway passenger access system during installation (Adelte) and Brodick ferry terminal with the system in operation (CMAL).