The wait goes on

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The latest report on the progress, or lack of it, on building the new Arran ferry makes grim reading.

Just when we thought things were looking up and that the MV Glen Sannox might be in service this year, hopes appear dashed by a series of warnings by turnaround director Tim Hair who walks away from the Ferguson Marine shipyard next month.

In his final report to the Scottish government, he lists reason after reason why the ship probably won’t be ready by September: absences as a result of Covid, delays to pipework installation and, most worrying of all, a warning equipment may need replaced during commissioning, as some of it was installed as far back as 2016.

Alarm bells should have started ringing last autumn when Mr Hair stopped referring to the new Arran ferry as MV Glen Sannox and reverted to referring to it by its shipyard name – Hull 801 – a backward move if ever there was one.

If, and it is a big if, the vessel was to be delivered in September, it is still touch and go she would be ready for service before the end of the year. At least two months of sea trials will be needed and there are suggestions that if equipment needs replaced and there are any problems with the dual fuel technology these could be even longer.

So the wait goes on … and on.