Ferry fiasco: CalMac summer season postponed until 2024


While CalMac’s ferry plans have taken another hard blow this week with the unsuccessful closure of talks over the supply of the Pentalina catamaran, the consequences for some island businesses appear serious.

This means the prospect of not having a dedicated summer season vessel for three years in a number of communities that count tourism as one of their main industries.

A group of independent advisers on Uist and Bara said they hoped the Pentalina movement would bridge the gap after the separately announced delay on the second of two new CalMac ferries, Hull 802, which is to serve the Uist / Harris route in Skye. .

“Given the current schedule and the additional familiarization of the crew over a number of months, their first appearance for a summer season will be 2024,” the advisers said as they called for action from the Scottish government.

Andrew Banks, Managing Director of Pentland Ferries, said that “the problems, which fundamentally stem from the very different status of a publicly funded service versus a small private operator like ours, has given us no other choice than to withdraw from the discussions “.

Robbie Drummond, Managing Director of CalMac, said he was “surprised and disappointed” and resumed talks with Transport Scotland.

Ferguson Marine’s revised delivery date for the 802 is between April and July 2023, and CalMac has said that once delivered it requires “an eight week period for operational readiness and familiarization before the vessel is put into operation. in service “.

HeraldScotland: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson in the garden at 10 Downing Street last month.  Photo: Dominic Lipinski / PA.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson in the garden at 10 Downing Street last month. Photo: Dominic Lipinski / PA.

A joint effort by Scotland and Northern Ireland signals the scale of concerns over international trade after Brexit, writes editor Ian McConnell in his column Called to Account.

“This speaks volumes about the level of concern over the impact of the Conservative government’s much-vaunted trade deal with Australia on farmers and food producers in Scotland and Northern Ireland as ministers of the United States. Rural affairs of the two countries have joined forces to strike an eleventh hour Attention, “ he writes.

In what was in all respects a manual transition, Sir David Murray this week passed ownership of his family business to his sons.

Murray Capital Group, which owns interests in metals, property and wine, has been taken over by the sons of former Rangers owner Sir David, David and Keith as part of the planned ownership transition, writes the Associate Editor Scott Wright, who added that the brothers acquired the company’s share capital for an undisclosed amount in March, while Sir David remains chairman of the group.

Hurricane Energy, a Shetland oil pioneer, has parted company with its chairman and four directors after facing an attempted coup led by a dissident investor, trade correspondent Mark Williamson revealed this week.

The boardroom reshuffle continues an extraordinary streak of events at Hurricane, which suffered the indignity of having its draft restructuring plan snubbed by the High Court last week.

Lockerbie company hails the chance to show the motorsport elite its plastic waste route at the world’s first electric car racing event in Italy.

Toby McCartney, co-founder and CEO, said “There is a real opportunity for MacRebur to play a vital role in laying the groundwork for a greener future in motorsport”.

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