, 2022-10-26 07:16:30,
The Scottish Government is ordering two new CalMac ferries in a £115m contract to benefit Western Isles communities.
Residents have been hit with disruption for years with ongoing breakdowns, suspensions and cancellations to ferries having a “catastrophic” effect on business and tourism, islanders say.
The Scottish Government has set aside funds in a bid to improve the Clyde and Hebrides network and support Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) with the replacement of two CalMac vessels, with a total of six expected to be replaced by 2026.
“Our communities deserve better ferry services than we have been getting and this is a major step forward, one that I hope can be built on in the development of lifeline Island travel services,” said councillor Uisdean Robertson, chair of the Western Isles Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
It comes as two CalMac ferries, being built at the nationalised Ferguson Marine shipyard, are still not ready despite the cost increasing by more than £84m in the last six months.
They are due to be ready more than five years later than originally planned. The two new ferries will also mean that the delayed hull 802 could be deployed alongside the MV Glen Sannox destined to serve Arran.
The new project is estimated to cost around £115m with contracts expected to be awarded by the end of the year. It will…
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