western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is calling on Caledonian MacBrayne to review the winter timetable on the Sound of Harris and the Sound of Barra and to look again at the pricing structure for commercial vehicles over five-metres in length. This follows discussions with local businesses that use both ferries on a regular basis.
Mr MacNeil said: “Local businesses have raised with me the difficulties they are having with the winter timetable on the Sound of Harris and the Sound of Barra.
“Financially, businesses are worse off due to the reduced sailings on the winter timetable as overnight accommodation is required, but more importantly is the time wasted because drivers are unable to make connecting ferry sailings.
“I will be writing to CalMac to ask them to review of the winter timetable and listen to the concerns local businesses have with the winter timetable.
“In addition to the matter of the winter timetable, I am also asking CalMac to review the pricing structure of vehicles used by businesses.
“Local businesses tell me that historically, short wheel based vans could be purchased under 5-metres in length, this is no longer possible with many new models now slightly over the 5-metre ruling.
“The current 5-metre rule requires to be looked at my CalMac, in order to allow businesses to continue trading and providing much needed services throughout our islands.”