Probe be­gins into Stornoway traf­fic

The Oban Times - - News -

PLANS are be­ing de­vel­oped by the Stornoway Port Author­ity, CalMac and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to re­duce con­ges­tion on Shell Street at the en­trance to Stornoway ferry ter­mi­nal.

The in­tro­duc­tion of the MV Loch Seaforth on the route has seen an in­crease in traf­fic around the Stornoway ferry ter­mi­nal, and this to­gether with later ar­riv­ing ve­hi­cles, has seen par­tic­u­lar is­sues dur­ing the early morn­ing and lunchtime check in pe­riod.

Coun­cil­lor Uis­dean Robert­son, chair­man of the comhairle’s trans­porta­tion and in­fras­truc­ture com­mit­tee, said: ‘ We are, of course, very pleased that the re­duc­tion in fares and the pro­vi­sion of ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity on the route mean that more peo­ple want to travel to, from and within the Outer He­brides.

‘How­ever, it is ap­par­ent that this ad­di­tional traf­fic has cre­ated a num­ber of con­se­quences in ports such as Stornoway and, in this case, we are keen to work with CalMac and the Port Author­ity to en­sure that any con­ges­tion or dis­rup­tion to road traf­fic is kept to a min­i­mum.

‘It is clear there is a grow­ing in­ci­dence of traf­fic back­ing up onto Shell Street and caus­ing con­ges­tion on New­ton Street and even as far as the junc­tion with James Street.

‘While we are re­view­ing road mark­ings and signs on Shell Street and, in par­tic­u­lar, the round­about at the junc­tion with the en­trance to Pier No 3, we are work­ing with CalMac and the port author­ity to re­view their re­spec­tive op­er­a­tional man­age­ment and mar­shalling ar­range­ments to pro­vide a more ef­fi­cient check-in process.’

Fin­lay MacRae, CalMac’s area op­er­a­tions man­ager, said: ‘There are a num­ber of fac­tors which are con­tribut­ing to the con­ges­tion on Shell Street. First, we are see­ing a large num­ber of ve­hi­cles ar­riv­ing to check in at the port in a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time im­me­di­ately prior to the dead­line. This leads to a build-up in the 10- to 15-minute pe­riod prior to the check-in close and we would ask pas­sen­gers to give them­selves a bit more time prior to that dead­line.’

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