Update: Storm Barbara - December 24
Disruption to CalMac routes across the network continues, as Storm Barbara tracks its way across Scotland's west coast, but there has been resumption of services in many areas today (Saturday December 24).
Customers are still advised to regularly check the company's website, social media and app for on-going updates - some of the services which have resumed are operating on a revised timetable to fit around weather windows, while others are as per published schedules. Details of what to expect on each and every route is available on all of the above channels.
With services running today to Lewis, Harris and North Uist, much of the Western Isles, which saw all services cancelled yesterday (Friday December 23), has some re-established connectivity, and the picture is similar further south in the network.
Despite Barbara's best efforts, almost 60 per cent of sailings on the Clyde yesterday did take place, as well as a number on the Southern Hebrides area of the company's network. And there is good coverage in these areas once again today. The only route which ran a 100 per cent service, regardless of what Barbara was able to throw at them, was the short-hop crossing from Colintraive on Cowal to Rhubodach on the Isle of Bute.
Planning is already well underway for the remainder of the festive weekend and bank holiday on Monday. The arrival of Storm Conor, forecast to make an appearance on Boxing Day, is an unwelcome piece of news for travellers, and CalMac is working hard to identify opportunities across its network to maintain operations where safe to do so. Although the heart of the storm is forecast to be at its worst in the far north west of Scotland, high winds and difficult sea states are likely to be felt right across the west coast.
"There is no doubt that Storm Barbara has made her presence firmly felt," said CalMac's operations director Drew Collier. "But we were able to react rapidly to all weather windows presented, which allowed many people, particularly in the southern area of the network, to continue with some semblance of normality as they approached the festive period.
"We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that services are maintained wherever possible and safe to do so. We are also in touch with communities to listen to any concerns they may have and formulate appropriate contingencies for them. Passengers should continue to constantly monitor our service updates.
"It has been a very difficult lead in to the Christmas holidays for our customers and staff and I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding - we cannot control the weather, but we will always do whatever we can to safely deliver services as opportunities present themselves."