Caledonian MacBrayne has been asked to rethink plans to leave the Western Isles’ main route without a car ferry for six weeks. The major works planned for Ullapool’s ferry berth by the Ullapool Harbour Trust (replacing the linkspan with one double its size) will leave Stornoway with a temporary car ferry service direct between Stornoway and Skye from 22nd February until 7th April 2015.

This Plan A will see ferry travellers enduring some unsociably timed sailings while the Ullapool linkspan is being replaced with the Isle of Lewis serving Uig and the new Loch Seaforth making her debut in passenger only mode between Stornoway and Ullapool from February. The Clipper Ranger will also operate Stornoway-Uig. The disruption will also affect the Easter holiday period, with Western Isles schools breaking up on 27th March. Following a meeting, ferry bosses agreed to review their plan and explore all alternatives.

CalMac has also been named Best Ferry Operator in the prestigious Guardian and Observer Travel Awards for the fifth year in a row. Having arrived at Greenock on 7th November from Germany the Loch Seaforth has since undertaken trials that have included her first visits to Stornoway (6th December) and Ullapool. Her official full service debut is expected on 5th April.

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