Islanders have written to new transport minister Fiona Hyslop demanding cash help from the Scottish Government, as a survey claimed CalMac’s “failing ferry service” has cost businesses on just two islands almost £1.5m.

In the midst of what was described as an “intense crisis for the Hebridean ferry system”, Joe Reade wrote to the newly-appointed transport minister on behalf of the Iona Community Council, Mull Community Council, the Mull and Iona Ferry Committee and other organisations on the two islands.

It comes as state-owned CalMac’s ageing fleet comes under pressure, with the ferry operator having recently been forced to cancel sailings to the island of South Uist for most of June.

Meanwhile, it waits delivery of two new ferries being constructed at the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow, which are years late and massively over-budget.

Reade however claimed theses vessels were “over-complex and super-sized”, branding them “lavish behemoths”.

Hitting out at the Scottish Government he told Hyslop: “Over decades, increasing demand has been met by making our ferries bigger, rather than adding to their numbers.

“So we have a small fleet of overly-large, elderly cruise-ferries, each one more expensive than the last, each one requiring tens of millions to be spent on pier lengthening and dredging.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

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