Today, Tuesday 22nd September, Mr Mackay the Minister for Transport and Islands said, “I know how important our ferry services are to the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides and the vital role they play in enabling continued and sustainable economic growth for the Islands. Since taking up my post I have spoken to stakeholders throughout the network, from councils to ferry users groups, to see if changes can be made to ensure our ferry services continue to deliver the best possible service.” He then gave grounds for hope stating, “This enhanced timetable offers a number of improvements: proposals include increasing capacity on certain services, offering more sailings and reorganising vessel deployment to get the most from our ferry fleet.” The report speaks of “over 30% increase in capacity on services to Coll, Tiree and Colonsay.” This will be of great benefit to residents, business and tourists. Having apparently listened to the voice of the islands lets hope the service will live up to the said proposals.
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This government release hit the news on another beautiful Autumn day on Tiree. Although the gentle breeze was from the North West, the day was warm for this far north in September. As the MV Clansman turned from the Passage of Tiree into Gott Bay, an air ambulance made its approach to Tiree Airport.
The setting sun reflected on the Clansman, but as she approached the pier her lower paintwork provided evidence of an intensive summer’s sailings. However, she has quite a wait to her annual dry docking and overhaul. Now there is real hope that she might be our dedicated vessel next summer.
Bathed by the setting sun the MV Clansman proceeded out to sea heading straight back to the Ferry Terminal at Oban. Today this report sounds ‘Ferry Hopeful’.