Ferry frustration

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Another week, another row over Arran’s new ferry. And who are the ones left most to suffer. The travelling public of this fair island.

A lifeline service served by two boats with a combined age 61 years, while our brand new boat remains under construction at – it would seem at snails pace – in Port Glasgow.

Instead of getting on with it Ferguson Marine appear determined to push and push the Scottish government into giving them more cash – £61 million more is this week’s ever increasing figure.

But the brinkmanship yard boss, Jim McColl, has already tried legal action to get more cash and been rebuked and CMAL show no signs of shifting their position any time soon.

The Scottish government too say there has been a ‘independent review’ and while they won’t say what the outcome was, it seems pretty likely they back the CMAL stance.

So what now? There has been talk of Arran ferry, and her sister ship, being taken elsewhere to finish, with Poland considered a front runner. But Mr McColl warned this week such a move could end up costing even more money.

Whatever the future let us hope it is sorted out soon so that Arran can, at last, benefit from a new fit-for-purpose ferry.