Timetable talks prompt debate
A FERRY operator’s appeal for views on next year’s timetable is being seen by some as an effort to avoid ‘another fiasco’.
CalMac contacted transport forums and other groups on July 12 asking members to take part in a consultation period before deciding on a timetable for summer 2017.
To ensure a consensus view, groups were asked to submit a single response voicing the overall opinion of that body before July 25.
In an email, CalMac wrote: ‘We would be grateful if you could consult with your members and advise of the aspirations for the forthcoming summer 2017 season. Please note that unless there is a compelling reason the time- table will remain as per summer 2016.’ A CalMac spokesman told The Oban
Times: ‘Comments will be collated and passed on to Transport Scotland allowing them to make a full and considered decision on final timetable arrangements for next summer.’
The correspondence follows months of uncertainty regarding the fate of MV
Coruisk after it was moved from the Mallaig to Armdale route to serve Mull.
Rob Ware, Sleat Transport Forum secretary, still wants to know why that decision was made and remains unconvinced by CalMac’s attempts to reach out.
He said: ‘ To be contacted by CalMac and given such a short time as a supposed consultation period gives the impression CalMac wants to act like those who don’t get in touch before the deadline are happy with the situation, which is obviously not the case. What it is really doing is trying to avoid another fiasco like this year.’
He added: ‘The biggest worry is what happens next year. I have already heard of one company which has said it will be cancelling its package next year. They said they might run a few tours but not to the same extent as this year because the service was just too unreliable and the cancellations cost them dearly.
‘That is just one of, I’m sure, many tangible examples where companies are having to pay the price due to inconvenience caused by this whole process. It could have been avoided.’