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14/05/2015

Extra summer sailings for Stornoway - Ullapool

Ferry operator CalMac is introducing four additional sailings per week linking Stornoway and Ullapool over the summer months.

The two extra return journeys on Fridays and Saturdays will run from Friday, June 26 to Saturday, August 29 and will provide a significant boost for tourists getting to and from the the island and relieve pressure on the Uig-Tarbert route.

Full timetable details are now available.

The additional sailings will be carried out by the MV Isle of Lewis, in support of the main vessel on the route the MV Loch Seaforth and have been put in place at the request of Transport Minister, Derek MacKay.

Chairman of Outer Hebrides Tourism Community Interest Company, Ian Fordham said:

"Outer Hebrides Tourism is delighted the Minister has listened to our concerns over capacity on the Stornoway - Ullapool route, and are very pleased he has committed to additional runs in the peak period. The extra services are timed to meet the needs of visitors travelling to and from the Outer Hebrides, and we have no doubt that they will prove highly popular."

"Tourism is worth £53 million to the local economy, sustaining around 1000 businesses across the island chain. The additional visitors brought by these services could add at least £1 million of spend in the local economy, further helping the Outer Hebrides reach its target to grow the visitor economy by 25% by 2020."

CalMac have scheduled the extra services at times designed to meet peak tourist demand. Operations Director, Drew Collier said:

"We have consulted at length with the local community about the most effective times to run these extra services. We expect these additional sailings to meet the additional capacity that local tourism leaders say is required for the islands over the summer months."

"The route from Skye to Harris can be put under pressure during the tourist season and these extra sailing will do a lot to address any potential capacity issues for people travelling to both Lewis and Harris during this busy period," he said.

In addition to these new scheduled sailings CalMac is also laying on extra sailings on July 19 to cover extra demand generated by the HebCelt Festival and on August 16 to cope with travellers attending Rally Hebrides.

For the full report visit  Transport Scotland .

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