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It all seems terribly familiar; travel disruption, disgruntled visitors, missed hospital appointments, being unable to return home, missing work and family commitments. Have we not sailed these treacherous seas before?
The effects of an unreliable ferry service can not be underestimated, and yes we cannot control the weather and there is a reasonable expectation of cancelled sailings when living on an island, but why are incremental improvements not being made, and more importantly, why are lessons not being learned?
At the time of peak demand ferry passengers have been let down, once again. The Isle of Arran Ferry Committee and the Arran Ferry Action Group, Arran residents and countless travelers, some of whom were stranded in their cars overnight, all agree that improvements need to be made.
The tide of public opinion that something must be done, and it needs to be done sooner rather than later, is rising and being amplified to cacophonous levels. Criticism is being leveled at the infrastructure, the vessels, the mariners, management and even the pressure groups, and yet, like the MV Glen Sannox that is years overdue, we are no further forward despite millions of pounds being spent to improve resilience.
Despite a rocky start to the New Year and in the spirit of renewed optimism that it brings, may 2020 be the year that actions, and not just words, can get our ferry service back to shipshape condition.