The community of South Uist has expressed disappointment that the Mallaig-Lochboisdale ferry route is not to be included in the new ferries contract.
Fololwing a recent meeting between the Transport Minister, Storas Uibhist and the Lochboisdale Ferry Users Group (LFUG), future services on the route were discussed. The LFUG are now following up with this with the Minister, Transport Scotland, Ferries Task force and others in a bid to reverse this decision.
A spokesperson for the LFUG said: “Everyone now accepts that the so-called pilot with a 59% cancellation rate has proved that winter pilot was totally inappropriate to establish demand for a service. Derek Mackay accepted that this was the case and confirmed that it not be the sole basis for future decisions by the Transport Minister on future delivery of the permanent reinstatement of the Lochboisdale to Mallaig route. It is clear therefore that there is no need to delay the review of the inclusion of the Lochboisdale to Mallaig service in the upcoming CHFS Contract, due for renewal in 2016, until the pilot has been concluded.
“We do acknowledge that the Minister has agreed that the LFUG will meet with Transport Scotland and other partners to review possible options for a potential summer service for this year. Whilst be accept that it is challenging with current vessel availability, we believe there are options available.
“The wishes and interests of South Uist are being disregarded. We call on our elected representatives to clearly state their support for our cause.”