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Scotland has numerous inhabited islands, particularly off the west coast. A large, efficient Ferry system is necessary to keep the islands fully supplied. These days, it's unthinkable that the events of almost ninety years past could be replicated and, an island archipelago totally evacuated. After two millennia of habitation, the remaining inhabitants of St Kilda requested evacuation in 1930. Declining population, inbreeding, disease, ..... etc were all contributing factors, but two periods of famine in the preceding half century caused by failure of supply brought the decision to a head.

 

Cal-Mac has 34 vessels, 15 Ferries are major units and, it provides a service to 30 destinations. The oldest Ferry is 46 years old. I know from my professional background that all the Ferries were built to MOD specifications ie depending on size and purpose, they can all carry amounts of Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Personnel Vehicles, .... etc. This was when the main aim of the Army was to support BAOR, the mass mobilisation and transport of service personnel from the UK to the continent. The MOD contributed funds to the construction of all Cal-Mac Ferries.

 

The Cal-Mac fleet is pretty old and recently this fact has manifested itself in half-a-dozen vessels being withdrawn from service for periods of up to ten weeks. The continued cancelations of service has become a story since the turn of the year. The situation is exacerbated by the two Ferries remaining on the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow. The construction remains incomplete, the project is three years overdue and currently sits at two and a half times it's original budget. The latest speculation is that both vessels may make service in September'22, the final cost remains unknown.

 

If tourism levels return to normal sooner rather than later, Cal-Mac will be deemed unfit for purpose. Does the Scottish Government have contingency plans? I mention the politicians because they seem to have no views on the matter. The MPs for Argyll and the Western Isles are Brendan O'Hara and Brendan MacNeill, both are SNP representatives. I suspect they have had a high level of consultations with their constituents on this particular matter? It's the basic infrastructure of the country and Brendan O'Hara must be getting it particularly hard, given the Rest and be Thankful is also in his constituency. 

 

I know all SNP MPs are required to agree NOT to criticise the Scottish Government and the SNP grouping and leadership at Westminster. Surely, the dire situation surpasses these vows? I note islanders have began to refer Caledonian MacBrayne as, 'Calamity-MacBrayne' and an island radio station ran a poll to name the second Ferry still on the Port Glasgow slips, 'MV Calamity Jane' won. Why are more questions not being asked about this ongoing, growing calamity? 

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As long as there are Gaelic signs all over Scotland (including places where it was never spoken), who cares about ferry services.

 

Empty vessels springs to mind...

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The Ferry Fiasco continues today.

 

The Scottish Government's plans to alleviate the upcoming crisis in island Ferry provision, have been thrown into further chaos. The intention was to charter a catamaran, the MV Pentalina. The Coastguard and Maritime Agency has decreed safety concerns with the vessel. There will be no license granted until the safety concerns have been addressed. The informed speculation is it will take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to resolve, meantime the vessel has been withdrawn.

 

I would have thought the SNP Leader in the House of Commons would be anxious to comment. The humble Crofter is the MP for Lochaber and Skye, maybe he paddles across from the Kyles of Lochalsh in one of his Golden Caskets? We are six weeks away from hordes of tourists with accommodation booked on the islands, having no means to access those islands.

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1 hour ago, 26th of foot said:

We are six weeks away from hordes of tourists with accommodation booked on the islands, having no means to access those islands.

A good example of SNP logistics.

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You have to think somewhere down the line there's a really major fuck up lying in wait for the SNP, with consequences even Sturgeon can't shrug off.

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51 minutes ago, Bill said:

You have to think somewhere down the line there's a really major fuck up lying in wait for the SNP, with consequences even Sturgeon can't shrug off.

she has more than managed to shrug of being responsible for one of the highest covid death rates in the world. 

 

What kind of thing do you envisage causing her problems. 

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3 minutes ago, Gonzo79 said:

I think Sturgeon could send the Angel of Death to kill all of Scotland's firstborn sons and still get voted in. 

You know, I don't know.

 

I suspect the Angel of Death is more discerning, wouldn't get involved with Nicola.

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