Headlining acts for Hebridean Celtic Festival were caught up in ferry delays last night (Thursday July 19th), after a road accident closed the road south of Ullapool.
Passengers heading for Stornoway on yesterday afternoon’s 5.30pm sailing of the Loch Seaforth were brought to a halt after a fatal motorcycle accident. Police confirmed that a 50-year-old man died following the two-vehicle collision, on the A832 at Corrieshalloch Gorge, just south of Ullapool, yesterday at 2.30pm.
With the road closed for several hours following the accident, drivers and bus passengers heading for Ullapool were unable to reach the ferry terminal. They included the tour bus carrying tonight’s headlining act The Fratellis and their road crew, and Roddy Woomble and his musicians, travelling as foot passengers on the same ferry.
]CalMac took the decision to hold back the ferry, booked to capacity as travellers headed for HebCelt. The initial delay was proposed until 7pm, but it was 7.40pm before Loch Seaforth left Ullapool, with CalMac staff making every effort to ensure that everyone booked was aboard. The ferry docked at Stornoway just after 10pm last night.
The Fratellis tour bus was rebooked to the 3am freight sailing this morning (Friday July 20th) and arrived in to Stornoway at 5.50am. Roddy Woomble and his band were able to travel as foot passengers on the delayed sailing last night.
CalMac’s Stornoway ferry terminal manager Iain Don Maciver said: “Everybody who needed to be here got here and nobody was left behind. That’s what CalMac does – we have a duty to our passengers to make sure that we adapt to all situations.”
The man who died in the accident has been named as 50-year-old James Stead of Evanton in Easter Ross. Police are asking for any witnesses to the accident to contact them.