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19/11/2014

Investment for Ullapool harbour set to enhance ferry services

INVESTMENT FOR ULLAPOOL HARBOUR SET TO ENHANCE FERRY SERVICES Ferry operator CalMac has published details of its services from Stornoway when Ullapool linkspan is closed to vehicle traffic from the end of February 2015 due to replacement work .

The works are the latest in a series of investments in Ullapool harbour and will significantly enhance ferry services to the Western Isles for the long term by removing the restrictions with the current linkspan by allowing all major vessels in the CalMac fleet to operate on the route .

The work, which will double the size of the existing linkspan, (which connects the ferry ramp with the shore)  and also increase the speed of loading and unloading, is being carried out by the Ullapool Harbour Trust.

While this work is underway,  the ferry will be unable to take vehicle traffic for a planned period of approximately six weeks, and alternative ferry services are being put in place to take vehicle traffic to Uig in Skye. A passenger-only service will continue to operate between Stornoway and Ullapool.

Initial site preparation ahead of the work has already begun but does not affect the current service. It is currently planned that the linkspan will close on February 22 and re-open on April 7. Further updates will follow as the programme and works progress.

The decision to start this work in February was made to avoid the extra inconvenience that would have been caused over the busier summer months.

The appointed contractor for the work is RJ McLeod and the Linkspan Supplier is MacGregor (Cargotec).

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac said: "I'm delighted this work is being carried out as it is an essential investment in ensuring Ullapool can continue to provide a safe and reliable docking facility for our ferries for many years to come, providing our customers with long term peace of mind about the future of the port."

"We realise however that for a limited time this will cause significant inconvenience for our customers and we will be speaking to them in detail about what the best options for travel for them during these improvement works."

"It has proved to be a significant logistical challenge, especially matching the different vessels to different tides to find a way of continuing to provide a service from Stornoway, but we believe we have achieved a good solution that will ensure the continued flow of traffic to and from the Western Isles for the duration of the works.

Kevin Peach, Harbourmaster at the Ullapool Harbour Trust said: "This work is unavoidable if we are to continue to provide a reliable and efficient service to the Western Isles in the future. We will do all we can to minimise disruption for our customers and get this improvement work completed as quickly as possible and apologise in advance for the inevitable inconvenience to the travelling public and local residents."

The key parts of CalMac plans are:

  • To operate a passenger-only service between Ullapool-Stornoway with the MV Loch Seaforth
  • To operate a vehicle and passenger service between Stornoway and Uig with the MV Isle of Lewis
  • To operate a freight service between Stornoway  and Uig  with chartered freight vessel, MV Clipper Ranger
  • Services on the Uig triangle with MV Finlaggan and MV Hebrides will be unaffected.

Ends

 

1)            The full timetable and further information about CalMac is available at www.calmac.co.uk or directly through the links below 

Passenger and Vehicle     |     Freight

 

2)            Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd   (CFL). These names are used under licence from Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). The lion rampant device is used by CFL with the permission of CMAL.

 

For further information contact:

 

David Cannon

Public Affairs Manager

CalMac Ferries Ltd

(01475 650371)

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