Leader: Out with a bang

The MV Isle of Arran went out of service suddenly, impacting on services to and from the island.

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Another week, another ferry problem. But this one seems more serious.

Certainly the MV Isle of Arran went out of service with a bang and left a gaping hole in the ferry timetable for two busy weeks and we hope not any more.

Again, the situation highlights the lack of spare capacity in the fleet. There are simply no boats to cover such an eventuality. All CalMac could come up with was to put the tiny MV Loch Bhrusda on as an additional sailing on the Lochranza route and try to encourage people to come in to the top end of the island. Not ideal, but at least they tried.

What the latest breakdown of the MV Isle of Arran shows is that at 33 years old, heading to 34, she is long past her sell-by date. Things should improve when the new Glen Sannox comes into service next year – but what about this year’s summer service?

It may well be a sensible move to keep the MV Isle of Arran in dry dock a few days longer to ensure the repairs are carried out in full. Then perhaps we can hope for a summer free from disruptions and cancellations to the second boat service which, more and more, appear to have become the norm.