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Communities relying on the four council-run ferry services are being told it would be sensible to prepare for some level of disruption during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Argyll and Bute Council operate the Luing, Easdale, Lismore and Islay to Jura ferries.
So far those services have continued to operate uninterrupted despite predictable fluctuations in passenger levels but coronavirus could have potential effects, says a letter to community councils from Jim Smith who is Argyll and Bute’s Head of Roads and Infrastructure Services.
‘The council is working with our health partners to take all and any action we can to support our communities in these unprecedented times. Planning ahead for possible scenarios is one of the steps we are taking’ said Mr Smith in his letter that also included reminders about minimising social contact and avoiding using public transport as much as possible.
‘It would be sensible however to be prepared for some level of disruption to these services, if for example ferry staff become unavailable on account of adhering to health guidance. If this happens, and we have to operate a restricted service, we will give as much advance notice as is practicably possible,’ added Mr Smith.
To help island communities keep up-to-date with any ferry service changes that become necessary, information will be issued through Argyll and Bute Council’s service disruption page on our website at argyll-bute.gov.uk/service-disruptions as well as via emails to the community councils.
‘Any decision to reduce our ferry services would be taken only as a last resort, if the safe running of the service could not be guaranteed,’ said Mr Smith.