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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 3rd May 2018 > Viewpoint


Write to us: send your letters to or The Editor, PO Box 1, Oban, Argyll PA34 4HB

There is apparently no end in sight any time soon for the problems that have been bedevilling ferry operator CalMac and, consequently, the island and Argyll communities the company serves.

Having a major vessel out of commission for an extended period has caused severe disruption to its services and prompted a catalogue of complaints.

The MV Clansman was scheduled to return to operations possibly as soon as this week, although its restoration to service will mean the withdrawal of the MV Hebrides for essential maintenance and repairs, meaning the disruption is likely to continue until at least May 23.

It is not just islanders who have been discombobu lated: across Argyll and the Isles, businesses – particularly those in the hospitality sector – have seen many cancellations of important bookings and a number of festivals have been impacted.

People are understandably upset but CalMac has done its best to ameliorate the disruption by juggling its fleet. Let’s have some sympathy for CalMac as the firm cannot simply conjure new vessels from thin air.

Members of Oban WRVS went to Dungallan House in the town for their Christmas dinner, at which district organiser Sheila Wilson was presented with a long-service award.

Days gone by – 1995

Communities let down by ferry issues

At their meeting held at Largs and Millport on April 19 and 20, the Community Board was unanimous in delivering a strong message to CalMac’s managing director, Robbie Drummond, and other members of the management team.

Overwhelmingly, the main concern was that measures being taken to deal with a recent vessel breakdown are failing to prevent major disruption bringing significant economic damage and having a detrimental impact on individual and family life. Cuts in timetabled sailings, deployment of vessels with inadequate capacities and inability to book even available space in some cases are all adversely impacting communities and the sustainability of businesses.

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