Council faces questions following ferry chaos
HIGHLAND Council needs to answer questions following chaos caused by recent Corran Ferry problems and cannot keep putting off decisions on changes to the present set-up.
That was the call this week from Andrew Baxter, councillor for Fort William and Ardnamurchan, following the resumption of the ferry service last Thursday.
The ferry escaped with just minor damage to its hull and a propeller blade after scraping against rocks, but was still out of action for five days.
The near week-long suspension coupled with the unavailability of the usual backup vessel Maid of Glencoul caused travel chaos for businesses, visitors and locals.
The Corran Ferry only returned to service after a specialist engineer flew in from Germany and repaired a faulty valve.
Mr Baxter said it was a relief the ferry service was back to normal and thanked the crew. But he is far from happy, telling the Lo
chaber Times: ‘There are many questions the Highland Council needs to answer and, more importantly, address.
‘The lack of public information provided was woeful and although as a councillor I tried to provide regular updates, the council needs to be much better and quicker at letting people know what is happening.
‘ Whilst relying on the spare ferry has been fine in the past, we were faced with the consequences of that not being available, with no emergency plan in place.
‘That needs to change. Relying on a spare ferry, which requires difficult to source spare parts, can’t continue either.
‘There needs to be a much wider debate about whether a fixed- crossing is a viable answer, whether it is affordable and whether it is appropriate for the peninsula.
‘The council can’t keep putting off these decisions.
‘Lochaber councillors will question officers on all these issues at their area committee meeting in August.’