Probe begins into Stornoway traffic
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.’