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Make no mistake future ferry capacity is the most important topic on Arran at the moment – for everyone.
Yes, we must stay safe but going forward a solution must be found to let islanders go about their daily business, and that must include trips to the mainland, as well as welcoming visitors back.
It actually beggars belief that organisations on the island are having to use all their collective might to even get CalMac, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government to even consider a relaxation of the strict ferry capacity planned.
Make no mistake, if they fail there will be no tourist industry on Arran and, to be honest, the travel restrictions on the local community are, in all likelihood, an infringement of our Human Rights.
The question was asked this week as to why so severe restrictions are needed on the ferries when they have voluminous cabins and a large open deck space. It seems a fair question to ask.
Here is a quote from a statement this week: ‘Ferry travel is the only form of public transport where passengers can socially distance easily.’
Who said it? Not CalMac, of course, but another, even bigger ferry company, Stena Line, outlining its measures for safe ferry travel this summer. The company is also recommending face coverings – a measure we can wholeheartedly support.
So the next few weeks are vital. As the Arran Recovery Group says, the request is simple, we want the same right to survive, business and community, as the rest of Scotland. No less, no more.