Representatives of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar met with Cal-Mac’s Community Board Chair, Mr Angus Campbell and Western Isles Board members at the end of last week to discuss some of the pressing issues around ferry services changes, how they impact the Islands and how the views of residents influence that process.
Both the Comhairle and Western Isles Community Board members agree that priority for travel going forward should focus on key workers, island residents and friends and family living on and from islands, maintaining a safe environment for all.
A range of ferry travel issues were discussed including foot passengers and booking arrangements, capacity for residents, health appointments,camper vans, pet travel, and social distancing.
A further meeting is being held this week which will include Dr Alasdair Allan MSP. It is critical that representations to Transport Scotland on firm guidelines for ferry travel to and within the islands is made strongly by all.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said: “This was a very useful meeting. The Comhairle remains supportive of the Communities Board and greater use should be made of the Board in terms of community consultation and in ensuring an accurate reflection of community views.”
Cal-Mac Community Board Chair Angus Campbell said: “It is important that changes to ferry operations are clearly signposted as to how they will operate and who can travel ensuring maximum safety for passengers and ferry operations staff. We are seeking greater clarity from Cal-Mac and Transport Scotland and I know the Comhairle has been in regular contact with these and other interested parties on the many issues surrounding ferry travel. We must maintain these discussions and clarity must be provided for communities.”