Back to the ferries and Port Ellen tonight. First some good ferry news. After the crash of the Isle of Arran ferry at Kennacraig the vessel sailed to Greenock for a planned overhaul and necessary repairs of the damage as a result of the crash. As of tonight the Isle of Arran ferry is back in service, just in time before Easter, and the ferries are sailing according to time table. Now back to yesterdays blog post. With the "political" answer in mind from First Minister Alex Salmond it's interesting to hear the opinions from two other politicians, Cllr Robin Currie and Alan Reid MP. Their comments both appeared in last weeks Ileach:
Robin Currie on Port Ellen:
Cllr. Currie told the Ileach, 'Naturally I am disappointed that the Scottish Government are not in a position to give the go-ahead for the full development that is required at Port Ellen because of the present financial climate but I do welcome the fact that they are to spend Â£3.4 on necessary improvements there to allow the two ferry service to continue next year. I will certainly continue to press for the full development as outlined in the business case to be carried out as soon as possible. The Scottish Government must take serious cognises of the fact that Islay is the only island in CalMacâ€™s network that has so much industry and a steadily increasing tourism sector and that the provision of two ports is a necessity for the smooth operation of all concerned.' Continue reading....
Alan Reid MP is â€˜highly criticalâ€™
Mr Reid said, 'This news is a disaster for Port Ellen. The local economy will suffer greatly with the new ferry not being able to use the linkspan. The whole of Islay will also suffer because Port Ellen is required when weather conditions prevent the ferry using Port Askaig. 'This is terrible planning by the SNP Government. They should have planned properly and ensured that the new ferry could use both Port Ellen and Port Askaig. 'With the SNP planning to make the Dunoon-Gourock service passenger-only next year, 2011 will see Dunoon with a linkspan and no ferry and Port Ellen with a ferry but no suitable linkspan â€“ what an awful way to run a ferry service! 'I hope that the SNP Government will think again before itâ€™s too late and carry out the work required at Port Ellen.'
Tomorrow I will post the editorial note from the Ileach Newspaper so stay tuned for more Islay ferry news.