Yard bosses to face Ar­ran pub­lic

The Arran Banner - - Front Page -

Bosses from the Ferguson Ma­rine yard, where the new Ar­ran ferry is be­ing built, are com­ing to is­land next week, the Ban­ner can re­veal. They are to face the trav­el­ling pub­lic and have pledged to re­veal all about the progress with the £48.5 mil­lion MV Glen San­nox, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion at their Port Glas­gow yard.

A pub­lic meet­ing will be held in Brod­ick Hall on Tues­day Au­gust 28 at 6pm and, af­ter an over­view of the ship­yard, saved four years ago, and a up­date on the Glen San­nox, there will be ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion for which 90 min­utes has been set aside.

Fac­ing the au­di­ence will be the Ferguson chief ex­ec­u­tive, Gerry Mar­shall, and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, John Mor­gan, and, it is hoped, the yard’s chief ships ar­chi­tect, Chris Dunn.

Mr Mor­gan told the Ban­ner: ‘We are very keen to make our visit next week as con­struc­tive, in­for­ma­tive and help­ful as pos­si­ble.’

Last week we told how fur­ther de­lays mean it will be more than a year be­fore the ferry will start work on the Brod­ick to Ar­drossan route.

❚ MV Isle of Ar­ran ser­vice blow,

Un­cer­tainty re­mains over when the MV Isle of Ar­ran will be able to re­sume ser­vice on the Brod­ick to Ar­drossan ferry route.

The age­ing ves­sel limped out of ser­vice last Fri­day night, forc­ing pas­sen­gers with up­com­ing reser­va­tions to make hasty re­arrange­ments as spa­ces on the other fer­ries filled up fast.

Af­ter sit­ting idle all day at the sec­ond pier at the new Brod­ick ferry ter­mi­nal on Satur­day, the ves­sel was able to head for re­pair un­der her own steam to try to re­solve an is­sue with her pro­pel­ler pitch sys­tem.

It is just the lat­est prob­lem to hit the 35-year-old ves­sel, which reg­u­larly needs re­pairs and is of­ten out of ser­vice when the winds pick up.

It is due to serve as the sec­ond Ar­ran ferry un­til September 24.

The im­pact of a one-ship ser­vice is hav­ing a knockon ef­fect for pas­sen­gers on the main Ar­ran route, and ser­vices to Camp­bel­town were can­celled this week, with no guar­an­teed date be­ing set for her re­turn to ser­vice.

En­gi­neers have been try­ing to re­solve the prob­lem since the is­sue first arose last Fri­day. How­ever, fol­low­ing sea tri­als on Mon­day, their ef­forts had proven in­ef­fec­tual and the ship headed to dry dock for re­pair.

A spokesman from ferry op­er­a­tor Cale­do­nian MacBrayne said: ‘At present it is not pos­si­ble to say with cer­tainty when the MV Isle of Ar­ran will re­turn to ser­vice but ev­ery ef­fort will be made to re­turn her to ser­vice as soon as pos­si­ble next week. We apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience caused.’

In or­der to make up for some of the loss of ca­pac­ity, due to the can­cel­la­tion of 10 ser­vices a day, the MV Cale­do­nian Isles has been mak­ing ad­di­tional sail­ings to cope with the work­load. These sail­ings have been for cus­tomers who have been af­fected by the can­cel­la­tions and were not open to new book­ings.

In ad­di­tion to the two ex­tra sail­ings be­ing un­der­taken by the MV Cale­do­nian Isles, which is cur­rently sched­uled un­til Tues­day Au­gust 28, the MV Loch Linnhe has been drafted in to as­sist the MV Ca­tri­ona on the Claon­aig to Lochranza route to pro­vide ex­tra cover.

Ad­di­tional staff have been drafted in to crew the ad­di­tional sail­ings and staff num­bers have also been in­creased at Brod­ick, Ar­drossan, Lochranza and Claon­aig ports to cope with ad­di­tional pres­sures.

Af­fected cus­tomers are ad­vised to con­tact 0800 066 5000 or mes­sage Cale­do­nian MacBrayne on so­cial me­dia @cal­mac_up­dates to resched­ule book­ings. Ser­vice sta­tus and in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.cal­mac.co.uk/ser­vice-sta­tus

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The MV Isle of Ar­ran leaves Brod­ick un­der its own steam on Satur­day night.

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