Ferry chaos ramps up

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A faulty linkspan at Oban ferry terminal caused further disruptions to sailings last week, including sending the Barra ferry bound for Oban 166 miles away to Uig on Skye.

The broken linkspan left vehicle drivers stuck aboard the MV Isle of Lewis for half a day on Monday, before it was then fixed. However, it failed again on Thursday, impacting ferries to Barra, Coll and Tiree on Friday, before being repaired for the second time in a week.

A CalMac spokesperson said: ‘A problem arose with the linkspan again on Thursday and Barra traffic was diverted to Craignure, from where it was then ferried to Oban. The number two berth is the only one the Isle of Lewis can use in Oban.

‘On Friday, the traffic volume was such that Craignure would not have been able to cope, so the decision was made to divert via Uig and take foot passengers by bus to Skye from Oban. The issue was resolved by CMAL in time for Saturday service. ’

The linkspan has been earmarked for upgrade, as we reported earlier in the year. CMAL published an ‘invitation to tender’ in March of this year, and it is expected that construction will take place February and March next year.