Calmac weighs up vehicles

Caledonian MacBrayne have increased their emphasis on monitoring the weight of vehicles being loaded onto ferries.

This is in response to concerns that light vehicles, such as vans, are being overloaded to save money on transport costs since the Road Equivalent Tariff no longer applies to large commercial vehicles.

A CalMac spokesman said: “We are not changing fares - just enforcing existing longstanding weight limits for safety reasons.

“While our interest is primarily about ensuring that overweight lorries do not jeopardise the safety of our ferries, it is important not to overlook the fact that it is illegal to overload lorries and vans as there are serious safety implications of having unstable vehicles on the road.

“In order to improve safety and remove the risks associated with carrying overloaded vehicles on our ferries, the company has begun weighing all commercial vehicles and light goods vehicles from July 1st 2014.

“The decision to enforce this has not been taken lightly but we have anecdotal evidence that some vehicles may be overloaded and, in the light of the recent South Korean ferry disaster where overloading and falsified documents led to the deaths of nearly 300 people, we feel we have no option but to take this step.”