MSP applies pressure for ferry tender

WESTERN Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, has written to Transport Minister, Keith Brown, to ask for information on when a tender will be issued to build a new vessel for the Stornoway to Ullapool ferry route.

Dr Allan stressed that an early decision was needed on this issue to give certainty about this vital lifeline link, he said: ““The Scottish Government’s Ferries Review made clear the need for a new vessel to serve the route between Stornoway and Ullapool, though I believe that this need is something which many islanders are all too aware of, particularly to those who rely on the present freight ferry MV Muirneag.

“With the Muirneag scheduled to go out of service in 2013 and with her recent record of cancellations due to mechanical problems it is important we get this issue resolved.

“I have asked the Transport Minister, Keith Brown, for an early decision on vessel replacement so that work can be put out to tender without delay.

“I have also asked for an outline of the kind of freight service we can expect until any new vessel starts on the route, as there is a clear need for the freight ferry to sail more regularly than she has been in recent months.”