After a long stretch of chaos on mainland roads and rail links, island families aiming to be reunited for Christmas now have sea and air services to the islands to worry about.
Cancellations and disruption on CalMac services to Barra are now expected to stretch through a good portion of the week, with cancelled services today (Sunday 18 December) and Tuesday, and disruption on Monday and Wednesday.
CalMac are advising travellers to use the revised timetable service between Castlebay and Oban tomorrow (Monday) if at all possible, given that Tuesday’s service won’t run and Wednesday’s is in doubt.
Alternatives early this week are challenging, with the Lochboisdale service scheduled to and from Mallaig, rather than Oban, tomorrow, and a revised timetable in place.
Gale force winds and swell have put paid to crossings of the Sound of Barra early tomorrow, with a review due at 10.30am for later sailings.
Tomorrow’s sailings on the Uig triangle route are liable to disruption, and the Sound of Harris will have no sailings until 11am due to the forecast. This evening’s Stornoway Ullapool sailings are also under threat.
CalMac’s booking system is offline between 9pm tonight and 1am tomorrow while essential maintenance is carried out.
Meanwhile strike action at Highlands and Islands Airports means there’ll be no flights tomorrow or on Thursday (22 December) to or from Benbecula or Barra.
There will also be changes to morning flights to and from Stornoway on both 19 and 22 December, although Loganair plan to operate a near-normal schedule of afternoon flights to and from Stornoway on these days.
Morning flights from and to Inverness tomorrow have been cancelled as have flights LM470 and LM471 between Stornoway and Glasgow.
Afternoon flights between Edinburgh and Stornoway tomorrow have also been retimed.
For full details of expected timetable changes and refund arrangements, go to:-