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You really couldn’t make it up.
Tourist businesses on Arran have been hard at work for weeks, months, getting ready to welcome visitors back from next Monday – and they will be welcomed back with open arms.
But for some all set to come and, with their tickets already booked on the MV Isle of Arran, there was an ugly shock this week to find their bookings cancelled leaving them to try and find a different route or date on the, already very busy other ferry, or not come over at all.
That is the very last thing the island needed right now in what is going to be a make or break summer season for many.
CalMac say the ferry is needed elsewhere to run a freight service because the MV Loch Seaforth is still undergoing repairs. But to be delivering freight while paying passengers are having their bookings cancelled to come to Arran seems very short sighted indeed – as well as highly damaging to the island and its economy.
CalMac say it ‘might’ be in service on the Arran route by May 4, but it may not. It still means it will be off over the normally busy May Day bank holiday, which promised to be even busier than usual this year because of the volume of staycation visitors.
Hopefully it will turn out to be a blip in what is gearing up to be a super summer season, but it is a blip the island could have done without as its tourist based economy struggles to emerge from the pandemic.