Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure, Cllr Uisdean Robertson, has welcomed the announcement of an additional vessel being purchased to join the CalMac fleet from Summer 2022.
MV Utne will be joining the CalMac fleet to provide an island based timetable year round on the Oban-Craignure service.
Cllr Robertson said: “It is very welcome that Scottish Government are making this investment to increase the fleet at CalMac’s disposal. This is excellent news for Mull but it is also good news across the network. The Western Isles will benefit from this development as MV Lord of the Isles will be disentangled from the Armadale service allowing additional service to Lochboisdale and the freedom to develop a timetable that better meets the needs of the Western Isles. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are keen to work with Calmac on considering timetable options for Lochboisdale in Summer 2022 to ensure the benefits are realised as quickly as possible.
It is important that the search for additional tonnage continues to provide the necessary resilience is restored for all services in the CalMac network.
Winter resilience will also be improved by the MV Utne as it can serve Mull all winter meaning the second vessel on that route – MV Isle of Mull – will be available to provide emergency cover across the network should another vessel break down or bad weather leaves a back log of traffic to clear which has been a major issue for Barra in recent winters.”