Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Sunday Ferry

Rumours are once again flying around this week that our ferry company, Caledonian MacBrayne, are considering instituting a ferry service from Stornoway to and from Ullapool on Sundays. Which we currently do not have. This is a contentious issue; my last posting on the subject attracted more than 50 comments in a few days.

Apparently, before Calmac can start Sunday sailings, they have to consult with the community in this island to weigh up opposing views. Tomorrow, senior personnel from the company are to meet the local council in Stornoway. They will, according to reports, also meet with the Lord's Day Observance Society, who are opposed to sailings on a Sunday as it interferes (in their perspective) with the Sabbath.

I gather that following the halving of fares after the implementation of Road Equivalent Tarriff last year, demand for the service has increased dramatically, leading to capacity problems. Another reason could well be the current economic recession and the unfavourable exchange rate between the Euro and pound sterling, which make overseas holidays in Europe expensive for Britons. Therefore, holidays at home are becoming more attractive.

The full story is on Hebrides News, to which I would like to refer for detailed information.


  1. Thanks for the heads up......looks like lots of cloak and dagger stuff with secret meetings etc.....wondered if any part of this was open to the Public as I am very surprised/disappointed to read Calum Maclean making the statement that .. the general population of the Island would NOT want a Sunday Sailing.....oh really?
    Anyway,lets see mwhat comes out after Thursday meetings? Cheers..RJG

  2. We have had consultation forms through the door in Millport, asking in general what our thoughts were on the ferry service, and how satisfied we were on various aspects of the service. I assumed it had been sent to other islands as well, as it seemed a "one size fits all" list of questions, some of which were not applicable to Cumbrae notably the question which asked "why do you use the ferry to leave the island over other modes of transport?" Eh, well that would be because there ISN'T any other way off Cumbrae?? Cos I can't stretch to a helicopter ??
    It also completely ignored the position that I am in- I reside between Cumbrae and Falkirk, so the questions on frequency and reason for leaving the island were meaningless.
    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out for Lewis! lets just hope that your questionnaire is a bit better- if you get one...

  3. There is no indication at present on CalMac's website of an opportunity for the general public (ie actual ferry users) to comment on the consultation. I've emailed their PR man to suggest that that might be a helpful facility for the man or woman on the brae to have their views heard.

  4. Mr Fourex, it is the lack of consultation on the part of the Comhairle that could actually lead to Sunday ferries being instituted. Some people are best left to fall into the holes they have dug for themselves.

  5. [...] Go to here to read the full story and Arnish lighthouse also has a lively blog about it too here [...]