Start of seasonal ferry service delayed

The MV Isle of Arran entering Campbeltown Loch last Thursday evening.
The MV Isle of Arran, which typically services the Campbeltown route, has been redeployed.

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The start of Campbeltown’s seasonal ferry service to Ardrossan has been delayed ‘to accommodate essential demand elsewhere’ as one of CalMac’s vessels receives repairs.

The Campbeltown-Ardrossan summer service — which is completely separate from the calls for a full-time ferry — was scheduled to begin on April 29, but has been postponed because vessels have had to be redeployed across CalMac’s routes while the MV Loch Seaforth is repaired.

The MV Isle of Arran, the ferry which typically services the Campbeltown route, has taken over the overnight freight run on the Stornoway-Ullapool route while specialist engineers work on the Loch Seaforth engines in Greenock.

As well as disrupting the start of the Campbeltown service, this means that one vessel, the MV Caledonian Isles, will be serving the Ardrossan-Brodick route from April 29 until a timescale for repairs has been confirmed. Additional capacity will be provided by doubling up sailings on the Claonaig-Lochranza route during this time.

These changes were made by using a route prioritisation process which allows CalMac to move ferries around to where demand is most needed when there is extra pressure on the network.

Robbie Drummond, managing director of CalMac, said: ‘It is vital that a freight service is provided on the Stornoway-Ullapool route and this movement of vessels is necessary to provide this.

‘This situation is far from ideal, and we apologise for how these changes will affect passengers. We will endeavour to offer alternative sailings to everyone who has already booked tickets between Ardrossan and Brodick.

‘We know how disruptive this will be for customers and we will keep everyone informed of any further developments. Thank you for your patience at this time.’