Monday, 3 April 2006

Sunday ferries - 2

<![CDATA[ South Beach Street on Sunday afternoon at 5pmConfirmation today that it is an operational decision for CalMac to put on Sunday ferries if that's what they want to do within their operational remit. They have to provide a lifeline service to the islands. To transport goods and people to and from the mainland, in cooperation with the local authorities.

At the end of the day however, CalMac do not require the consent from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to operate a ferry on Sunday. They consult with the Comhairle, and will take local sensitivities into consideration. However, I really want to stress the point that (a) it's CalMac's decision, and they can do what they want (b) there are already ferries running on Sundays elsewhere in the Western Isles area. Objectors, I'm very, very sorry, haven't got a leg to stand on if they should wish to take things to a court of law. There are glaring anomalies in the Comhairle's transport-on-Sunday policy.

Cromwell Street on Sunday at 5.30pmI do wish to stress that the Stornoway Sunday is something that I would actually be very sorry to lose. It's one of the redeeming features of the place that rampant consumerism ceases for a day, that it's the gulls roaming the streets rather than cars and shoppers. I also respect religious principles, but it should not impede people's right to move about. There was talk of a Sunday ferry between Ullapool and Stornoway, which is (strictly speaking) not necessary. Once the Sunday sailings on the Sound of Harris start up, you can drive down to Leverburgh, cross to North Uist, drive the 10 miles to Lochmaddy and sail to Skye. Slightly roundabout and more expensive, but a small price to pay.

Out of my backyard? No comment...... ]]>

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