Come together

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It is worrying indeed when the two bodies we need to come together to give us a new lifeline ferry appear to be wider apart than ever.

The fact the shipyard bosses at Ferguson Marine felt they had to come and explain themselves to the travelling public on Arran has to be welcomed particularly after they had faced public criticism from their paymaster CMAL.

However, there are two sides to every story. Was the Arran meeting simply a damage limitation exercise, as has been suggested, or did the yard really feel it had been backed into a corner by CMAL and had to come out fighting to save the yard, which is, of course, scouring the world for other work.

And now that Ferguson’s have publicly stated that the delays are not their fault – and even paid for the redesign of the bulbous bow – it is up to CMAL to break the impasse and get work on the ship back up to speed.

For at the end of the day the only people suffering from the delay are the people of Arran. Make no mistake the ferry may be ready next summer, but after that it will need at least two months of sea trials, and with new an untried technology, that remains a concern too.