Stornoway Ullapool Ferry Project taskforce comment

“This was an extremely constructive first meeting and I am encouraged by the commitment of all partners to work together and deliver these major infrastructure works.

“Everybody involved in this project wants the work to be completed and see the MV Loch Seaforth operating on the Stornoway-Ullapool route as soon as possible. Today’s meeting gave all partners the opportunity to discuss the way forward for the project and focus on how we minimise disruption and delay.

“Stornoway Port Authority estimate the work required for the berthing of the new vessel will now finish in early February, which will allow Calmac to bring the MV Loch Seaforth into service by the end of February and Ullapool Harbour Trust to go ahead with their linkspan work as planned on April 20th.

“Ultimately, we would like to see the infrastructure works completed and the MV Loch Seaforth fully deployed on the Stornoway-Ullapool route by the end of May, and all the organisations involved have agreed to work towards this target.

“I convened this taskforce because I shared the concerns of the local communities affected. In moving forward the community will be kept fully informed of progress and, through CalMac, the taskforce will be engaging with the community and local stakeholders directly.

“At the end of this process we will have improved harbour facilities and a new £42m ferry serving the Stornoway-Ullapool route, and I look forward to seeing the MV Loch Seaforth bringing an improved service to both communities.”

Notes to editors

The taskforce has agreed to meet on a monthly basis. A date for the next meeting of the taskforce will be agreed in due course.

Published 15 Jan 2015