Petrol supplies threatened by north end ferry cancellation

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Arran faces a real threat of running out of petrol supplies this weekend owing to the cancellation of the Lochranza to Tarbert ferry service.

Petrol and gas is transported to Arran via the north end of the island as legislation requires it to be transported on a vessel with an open deck.

Diesel, however, is not bound by the same restrictions and it can be brought in via the Ardrossan to Brodick route.

With the cancellation of the Lochranza ferry, which is expected to continue until Monday December 20, there are fears that petrol supplies on Arran may run dry.

The Lochranza ferry service was cancelled on Monday as the MV Loch Tarbert had to be diverted to serve on the Largs to Cumbrae route.

The ship normally serving that route, MV Loch Shira, was removed from service as a result of a suspected leak within its propulsion system.

A garage owner from Brodick told the Arran Banner that island petrol supplies are usually replenished once a week when a 40-tonne lorry arrives from Grangemouth refinery via the Lochranza route.

With the cancellation of the Lochranza ferry he had concerns that petrol and gas may run out before a tanker is able to make it over to the island again.

By his estimates, and judging by usage which may fluctuate, he estimated that petrol supplies could be depleted by tomorrow (Saturday).

Late on Tuesday afternoon, a CalMac spokeswoman said: ‘We’re aware of the petrol/gas bottle issue on the island and are currently investigating a contingency solution to ensure that we can get the necessary supplies delivered to the island.’

The situation was resolved by a cargo only sailing of ‘essential lifeline supplies’ on Thursday which included a petrol tanker and council’s refuge collection truck.