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A call has been made for the MV Isle of Lewis to remain on the Western Isles to bolster ferry links for the summer tourist season.

Urging CalMac to retain the ferry locally, Isles MP Angus MacNeil said: “Tourism is already battling the relentless barrage of bad press, some of which gave wrong impressions of the actual situation. Last summer, MV Isle of Lewis and MV Loch Seaforth were both running, but this summer, there seems to be a very real risk of losing MV Isle of Lewis.

“This must be scotched straight away for the good of the entire Hebridean economy. Gateway ports can’t be losing big capacity and those coming from the longest route in Oban can’t have a smaller and slower ferry. Inevitably, this will affect tourism throughout the entire Hebridean chain if this does happen.”

The Isles MP added that retaining capacity on the Outer Hebrides ferry network is vital, especially with such a large vessel as the MV Isle of Lewis.

“The Hebrides’ fragile economy, the most fragile economy in Scotland, cannot take a sabotaging in May or June this year,” Mr MacNeil stated.

Image credit: CalMac