Ker­rera

The Oban Times - - Districts -

FERRY op­er­a­tor CalMac Fer­ries Lim­ited took over the op­er­a­tion of one of Scot­land’s short­est ferry ser­vices, link­ing the is­land of Ker­rera to the main­land south of Oban, on Satur­day July 1.

The Trans­port Scot­land con­tract to pro­vide the mostly pas­sen­ger- only ser­vice on the is­land, which is home to just over 50 peo­ple, has been in­te­grated into the Clyde and He­brides Ferry Ser­vices con­tract (CHFS) awarded to CalMac in 2016.

The new ser­vice will be largely un­changed from the ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tion with fares and timeta­bles set by Trans­port Scot­land.

This will bring the to­tal num­ber of routes op­er­ated by CalMac to 48 and its fleet to 33 ves­sels. CalMac cur­rently op­er­ates more than 136,000 sail­ings a year across the west coast of Scot­land and this route will add around 2,600 sail­ings per year to that to­tal.

The cur­rent ser­vice has been op­er­ated for 22 years by Ker­rera Ferry Ltd, run by lo­cal man Dun­can McEachen who, along with three crew­mates, will now be­come CalMac em­ploy­ees.

Mr MacEachen is re­tain­ing own­er­ship of the ‘Gylen Lady’ so a new ves­sel has been or­dered by Cale­do­nian Mar­itime As­sets Ltd (CMAL). This is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion in Shet­land.

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