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MV Loch Seaforth suspension update - services disrupted

The MV Isle of Arran will be temporarily taking over the overnight freight run on the Stornoway-Ullapool route from Wednesday 21 April.

This is to provide essential cover for two freight sailings while the MV Loch Seaforth is being repaired. The MV Isle of Lewis was previously carrying out this service - however, the vessel is unable to continue to do this as it cannot maintain three return crossings in 24 hours due to crew availability. She will continue to operate the day services.

Specialist engineers are currently working on the Loch Seaforth engines in Greenock and she will be back in service as soon as possible.

This will mean that one vessel will be serving the Ardrossan-Brodick route from 29 April (the MV Caledonian Isles) until a timescale for repairs has been confirmed. Additional capacity will be provided by doubling up sailings on the Claonaig-Lochranza route during this time.

Passengers who have already booked sailings between Ardrossan and Brodick during this period will be offered alternative sailings as a priority. Space will be limited on 30 April and 1 May.

 The ferry service to Campbeltown, which was set to restart on 29 April, has been suspended to accommodate essential demand elsewhere.

These changes were made by using a route prioritisation process which allows CalMac to move ferries around to where demand is most needed when there is extra pressure on the network.

The possibility of hiring a vessel on a temporary basis has been explored but unfortunately, none are available at short notice. This includes the Pentalina, which is not going to be free for a number of weeks.

Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of CalMac, said: "It is vital that a freight service is provided on the Stornoway-Ullapool route and this movement of vessels is necessary to provide this.

"This situation is far from ideal, and we apologise for how these changes will affect passengers. We will endeavour to offer alternative sailings to everyone who has already booked tickets between Ardrossan and Brodick.

"We know how disruptive this will be for customers and we will keep everyone informed of any further developments. Thank you for your patience at this time."

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