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Ferry woes continue

Tarbert ferry off, Coruisk return delayed

By Gordon Neish
Ferry woes continue
CalMac vessels Bute, Coruisk, Loch Allain and Ali Cat laid up in Greenock on Saturday. Photo: Paul Paterson

The knock-on effects of MV Bute’s layup because of a fault with her aft main engine crankshaft are being felt far and wide as CalMac’s failing fleet seems to be keeping Inverclyde repair yards in business.


MV Coruisk, undergoing annual overhaul at Dales Marine in Greenock, was due to return tomorrow (Tuesday) to restore a two-vessel service to the Rothesay – Wemyss Bay route.


The vessel was then supposed to assist on the Dunoon – Gourock route with four sailings per day once MV Bute returned. The Dunoon route also remains of a single-vessel service until MV Argyll Flyer’s return from overhaul.


However, CalMac announced today (Monday) that Coruisk’s overhaul ‘has been delayed’ – and the company will make a further announcement tomorrow about when the overhaul might be completed and how long sea trials might take.


Meanwhile, there were no sailings at all on the Portavadie – Tarbert service today as the usual vessel had to be redeployed to the much busier Largs – Cumbrae service.


CalMac had hoped to use the MV Isle of Cumbrae, currently on winter lay-up at the Holy Loch, for the Portavadie service. However, we understand there are a large number of Covid cases among members of the small vessel crew, and there were not enough people available to move the vessel from Sandbank to Tarbert.


CalMac hopes this service will be available from Wedneaday, but an announcement will be made tomorrow at 3pm.


A clearly annoyed spokesperson from Kilfinan Community Council expressed sentiments which could be echoed up and don the west coast, saying: “Time and time again we are seeing vulnerable communities being put into a position of dire straits. Having services cut and withdrawn, being left to face the Rest & Be Thankful road debacle, facing anything from a two and a half to four hour road diversion and a lack of toilet facilities, not being able to access medical appointments, business going bust due to the ongoing omnishambles of the CalMac and A83 Rest & Be Thankful mismanagement, characterised by a string of blunders, financial & governmental miscalculations.

“Those in governance and management live within another world, devoid of reality and acumen. Meanwhile those of us who live in the real world are paying the price of this utter farce of governmental and managerial misaligned cluster mess. We have endured far too much with these failures, our communities are suffering and we require change for the better.”

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