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CalMac management really have to hang their heads in shame at their woeful response to Sunday’s ferry fiasco at Ardrossan.
And, of course, as always there was only one loser – the paying passenger.
Yes, the initial problem was Covid-related and that must be factored in to any criticism of the ferry operator. But did two positive cases in the ferry terminal really need to shutdown the entire system from Ardrossan?
To add insult to injury CalMac operated three sailings from Brodick to Ardrossan as hundreds of car and foot passengers were stranded there – forced into a 130-mile journey to Claonaig or to make alternative arrangements on their own.
Why could foot passengers with tickets not have been allowed to make the trip across to Arran? That could also have included car parties leaving their cars at Ardrossan. An exception was made for two passengers – albeit one a medical condition – so why not everyone else?
As one letter writer states this week, if this had happened at a major railway station or bus station would it really have brought everything to a standstill?
And let’s take a wider view. We have been living with the Covid pandemic for more than 18 months.
Surely in that time a company the size of CalMac should have contingency plans and, in these days, protocols in place to deal with just such an eventuality.
The fiasco was a misery for everyone involved, and in some cases an expensive one, but even more worrying is the damage it will have caused to future tourism on Arran, at the very time it can ill afford it.