Arran ferry woes costs island businesses thousands – BBC news

Tourism businesses on Arran have said they are losing tens of thousands of pounds after one of two ferries serving the isle was diverted to another route.

The ferry is being used to support freight services between Stornoway and Ullapool following the breakdown of that route’s Loch Seaforth last month.

Holiday accommodation providers on Arran said the move had led to booking cancellations.

Ferry operator CalMac said it was endeavouring to maintain services.

The Loch Seaforth – the largest and fastest ship in CalMac’s fleet – had to be removed from its route between Stornoway on Lewis and Ullapool in the Highlands because of an engine problem.

It has been undergoing repairs at a yard in Greenock and the work is not expected to be finished until 17 May at the earliest.

CalMac has had to move ferries from other routes to help maintain services to the Western Isles.

This has included using one of Arran’s two regular summer season vessels, leading to a temporary reduction in sailings between Ardrossan in North Ayrshire and Brodick on Arran.

CalMac said it had made extra provision available at the north end of Arran between Lochranza and Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll and Bute.

But Arran businesses bosses said accessing those sailings involved longer journey times, and would not suit visitors planning short stays on the island

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