Saturday, 17 October 2009

Extended summer service

Our MP has asked for the ferry summer timetable to be extended into November. Its current validity runs out next Saturday, October 24th. He states that the slashing of ferry fares, due to RET, has promoted ferry traffic last summer. Mr Macneil appears to be unaware though that the tourist season tends to end at the close of the midterm break, i.e. by the penultimate weekend in October. Five years ago, when I was travelling western Scotland, I could not help but notice that everything ground to a stop by October 24th or thereabouts, and that was not related to the ferry services. Being in the Isle of Skye at the time, which can be reached by bridge, it was very noticeable. Also, the Stornoway to Ullapool ferry service is the same right through the year. Other services in the Western Isles do see a reduction in service though.

However, if the summer service is extended in November and leads to an increase in tourist traffic to the islands, I'll be the last to complain.


  1. We have a reduction in ferry times too, though you'd need a degree in ferry timetables to understand it, and we frequently get caught out by the breakfast and lunch break in service!
    The shops and eateries in Millport also have markedly shorter opening hours after the end of Oct, and in fact there were quite a few places closed while we were down last week, the Glasgow school hol. I would love to see more people visit during the Autumn and winter, when the island has a quite different look and feel to it, but if there's nowhere open for them to eat I can't see it happening. But if there's no tourists at hand, then you're wasting heat and wages staying open for nothing!
    Chicken and egg!

  2. Almost totally unrelated, but did the QM2 sail around the Minch yesterday? His Lordship, the Baron GarGar seems to think she sails aound these parts today (19/10/09). According to ship AIS it is moored at Liverpool. If we have missed the event, did you get any pictures Arnish?