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CalMac issues revised Arran timetables

Following agreement with the Arran community, CalMac has finalised the revised summer timetable for the island's main ferry route, Ardrossan to Brodick.

The original timetable had to be altered following the announcement that the 31-year-old MV Caledonian Isles will remain out of service for the summer season due to extensive steelwork requirements. MV Isle of Arran and MV Alfred will operate a two-vessel service on this route when the summer season begins on 29 March.

While current data on passenger and traffic volumes on the service indicates that for periods of the summer timetable there will still be sufficient capacity to meet demand, there may be constraint at peak periods and some customers may not be able to attain their preferred sailing time. This is why we are currently investigating ways in which to increase capacity to Arran, which would involve swapping MV Isle of Arran for the larger MV Hebrides.

This proposal is dependent on MV Isle of Lewis successfully completing a berth trial at Uig, Tarbert and Lochmaddy which would give option for MV Hebrides to be redeployed. Trials are due to take place later this week, subject to weather conditions.

To help with current capacity requirements to and from Arran, MV Catriona will continue to operate additional sailings between Claonaig and Lochranza until 28 March.

While there will be a single vessel service between 12 and 28 March as per the current timetable, additional sailings may be provided by MV Alfred out of Troon if we are able to source additional staff.

Finlay MacRae, Head of Operations for CalMac, said: "The loss of MV Caledonian Isles for the summer season is creating unavoidable constraint on services and has meant that we have had to review vessel deployment across our entire network. I am grateful to the Arran Ferry Committee for their patience while we revised the Arran timetable, which I believe offers the best solution while the limited resources available to us.

"We remain focused on providing a reliable and resilient ferry service to the Arran community, and operating from Troon, whilst disruptive for customers, allows us to maintain critical links from Arran to the mainland while the Ardrossan ports are not available to MV Alfred."

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