Ferry chaos wors­ens af­ter linkspan breaks

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A faulty linkspan at Oban ferry ter­mi­nal caused fur­ther dis­rup­tions to sail­ings last week, in­clud­ing send­ing the Barra ferry bound for Oban 166 miles away to Uig on Skye.

The bro­ken linkspan left ve­hi­cle driv­ers stuck aboard the MV Isle of Lewis for half a day on Mon­day, be­fore it was fixed. How­ever, it failed again on Thurs­day, im­pact­ing fer­ries to Barra, Coll and Tiree on Fri­day, be­fore be­ing re­paired for the sec­ond time in a week.

A CalMac spokesper­son said: ‘A prob­lem arose with the linkspan again on Thurs­day and Barra traf­fic was di­verted to Craignure, from where it was then fer­ried to Oban. The num­ber two berth is the only one the Isle of Lewis can use in Oban.

‘On Fri­day, the traf­fic vol­ume was such that Craignure would not have been able to cope, so the de­ci­sion was made to di­vert via Uig and take foot pas­sen­gers by bus to Skye from Oban. The is­sue was re­solved by CMAL in time for the Satur­day ser­vice.’

The linkspan has been ear­marked for up­grade, as The Oban Times re­ported ear­lier. CMAL in­vited ten­ders in March and it is ex­pected con­struc­tion will take place in Fe­bru­ary.

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