A bitter blow

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The loss of the MV Pentalina catamaran is a bitter blow indeed.

Just when we thought there was some light at the end of the tunnel to help with ferry capacity, that hope was snatched away.

Clearly there is more to the Pentland Ferries decision not to go ahead with the charter to CalMac than meets the eye.

‘Commercial reasons’ is what Pentland Ferries is saying publicly but privately it seems like the wheels started to come off the proposal when the RMT union asked for a safety inspection of the MV Pentalina, which she failed.

What the collapse of the deal means, however, is that Arran is in exactly the same predicament it was before the MV Pentalina discussion began.

Arran’s two ferries – the MV Caledonian Isles and MV Isle of Arran – are struggling to cope with demand both on and off the island due to the Covid-19 restrictions on passenger numbers still in place.

Add the Campbeltown equation and it is easy to see why the system is at breaking point; which is why a solution must be found – and soon.