A sorry saga

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The saga over Arran’s new ferry took yet another worrying twist this week.

The Clyde shipyard building the MV Glen Sannox has threatened to take its own customer to court unless it stumps up more cash.

This is the same shipyard who has already been handed a £45m loan by the Scottish Government to complete the £97m contract for the Arran-bound ferry and her sister ship.

Relations between Ferguson Marine and the customer, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), have been strained for a number of months now. Even before the launch, which was now more than a year ago, there had been the first major row over the remodelling of the bulbous bow.

Now things have soured so badly that the whole contact wrangle could end up in the courts. Of course, the threat of legal action is very different from the real thing. Jim McColl is a hard-nosed billionaire businessman who could be using brinkmanship to get the concessions he wants.

CMAL, for the time being at least, is having none of it. It insists there have only been ‘minor changes’ during the contract and says it has a contingency budget of £2.7m which covered these costs.

In the end, there can be no winners, only losers, and they are the travelling public on Arran.