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The present situation over ferry services in the Hebrides "is simply unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue."

That's what Alasdair Allan MSP told the chief executive of Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd, Kevin Hobbs yesterday (Thursday June 10) when they met to discuss the recent ferry disruption experienced by residents of the Western Isles as well as the ongoing lack of resilience faced by the CalMac fleet. 

Alasdair Allan set out the problems which are being caused for island residents by the current urgent need for new vessels and sought information on how the company intend to use the recent £568 million allocated to them by the Scottish Government for building new vessels.

Alasdair Allan said later: "This was a very informative and productive meeting and I am grateful that CMAL are taking the matter so seriously. 

“I passed on the many issues that have been raised with me by islanders, both individuals and businesses, and pointed out the massive impact the ongoing capacity issues are having on the Western Isles. 

“Also, whilst I found CMAL’s medium to long term plans for new vessels encouraging, I stressed the need for more immediate measures, such as chartering vessels to be undertaken. CMAL indicated that they continue to search for suitable vessels to back up the current ferry fleet. 

“I will continue to meet on a regular basis with CMAL and others regarding these issues, as the current situation is simply unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.”