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24/09/2019

Temporary changes to Mull ferry route

West coast ferry operator CalMac has finalised alternative travel arrangements for the Lochaline to Fishnish, Mull route, while port owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) carries out upgrade work to the slipway.

The route will operate a passenger only service from October 21 to December 1 using the Wood Pier in Lochaline. For the duration of the project Shiel Buses will extend their route from the existing slipway to the temporary embarkation point. 

All vehicle traffic to the island will be diverted via Oban/Craignure and Kilchoan/Tobermory while the work takes place. 

'We realise this closure will be an inconvenience, but it is unfortunately necessary for the long-term resilience of the service,' said CalMac's Head of Service Delivery, Robert Morrison.

'Several options were looked at to continue to provide a service during the closure and the Wood Pier alternative was deemed to be the one that provided the best continuity of service.' 

'It continues to deliver a service from the local area for regular travellers and has onsite parking for passengers.'

The upgrade work includes the removal of the old structure and the construction of a new one, as well as improving the overnight ferry berth at the terminal. Extra marshalling space will be created to improve traffic flow through the port area and the project will also see the existing slipway widened and lengthened, and the berth area deepened. 

To help ease the extra burden for local businesses during this period of disruption, commercial vehicles will be charged at the cheaper Lochaline/Fishnish rate for the longer crossing from Oban to Craignure.

Additional support from MV Loch Bhrusda, MV Clansman and MV Lord of the Isles will be available to assist in the transport of Dangerous Goods from Oban to the island while the slipway is closed. 

'In addition to the temporary timetable we will provide an early and late-night request sailing and two request sailings on Sundays. These will be treated like any other request sailing and will need to be booked by 1600 on the previous day,' said Robert. 

'Unfortunately there is no lift on the vessel and while operating from the Wood Pier passengers will be required to move from the car deck to the top deck, and this may not be suitable for anyone with reduced mobility. Passengers unsure about their ability to travel on this route should check with our customer services team. Unfortunately given the access issues we will also be unable to carry bicycles on the service,' added Robert.

'We will continue to keep local people informed of progress as the project progresses.' 

The alternative timetable operating for the duration of the work can be viewed here
 

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