Uig Harbour Closure and Upgrades Community Engagement Sessions
The Highland Council will temporarily close Uig Harbour to allow for the second round of temporary upgrades to be undertaken from 30 October 2023 until 11 December 2023.
Ahead of this period, Caledonian MacBrayne conducted engagement events in Uist, Skye and Harris to update communities on the timetables which will be in place during the outage.
Engagement events were held at the following locations:
Lochmaddy Village Hall
Tarbert Community Centre
Uig Village Hall
The information below was presented at these sessions. Communities, businesses and local authorities were invited to attend to view the plans and provide any feedback on the first closure period and/or plans for the second closure. We will be adding service continuity plans shortly, here in our dedicated web section.
Uig Harbour Closure and Service Continuity Plan - 30 October 2023 to 11 December 2023
Infrastructure upgrades are being undertaken by The Highland Council at Uig harbour which will result in closure of the harbour for 6 weeks from 30 October - 11 December 2023.
This is the second closure period with the harbour previously closing between 16 January - 27 March 2023.
CalMac's service continuity plans maintain a high-level of service throughout the closure and are designed to minimise the impact to customers.
Caledonian MacBrayne is presenting the community with timetables which will be in place during the closure period, which falls within the winter 2023/24 timetable period.
Caledonian MacBrayne will also provide an overview on feedback from the community and lessons gathered from first closure period.
Uig Harbour 2nd Closure - Community Engagement
Infrastructure upgrades are being undertaken by The Highland Council at Uig Harbour which will result in the Council closing the harbour for 6 weeks (30 October - 11 December 2023).
Purpose of Session
Caledonian MacBrayne is presenting the Service Continuity Plan that we will operate during the period of disruption - it incorporates feedback from the community and lessons gathered from the first closure.
The original planned closure period was to commence 10 October 2022 until 27 February 2023. Concerns were raised regarding the 24 weeks closure and the negative impact this would have on island communities. A revised solution was reached and agreed with the communities which meant the closure reduced to 14 weeks over 2 outage periods, announced on 2 September 2022.
Caledonian MacBrayne recognise that the closure will take place during the run up to Christmas but is confident sufficient capacity is available on the alternative routes to manage this period
Caledonian MacBrayne recognise that there is a risk that delays to the project could result in the harbour remaining closed over the Christmas period as the contractor will have a holiday shutdown. The Highland Council, who are managing the project, will communicate this information, and we will also inform customers about any potential delays or impacts to journeys.
Caledonian MacBrayne advise customers to check their journeys in advance if the harbour remains closed over Christmas and New Year. This is something we will plan for ourselves, but it isn't something we can control.
First Outage Summary
Average Operated PCU Utilisation %
Mallaig/Oban - Lochboisdale*
Berneray - Leverburgh
Notes: *Includes overhaul period sailings between Lochboisdale - Oban.
Service Continuity Plans
MV Hebrides operates one return per day Ullapool - Lochmaddy (extended passage time of 4h 30m)
No service will be provided between Ullapool - Tarbert
Tarbert traffic will be redirected to Ullapool - Stornoway service (capacity volumes have been assessed and are considered feasible)
Shuttle buses to transport passengers between Tarbert - Stornoway/Uig - Ullapool (if required)
Increased frequency on Lochboisdale - Mallaig/Oban service on occasion when vessel availability allows
MV Arrow will only be chartered for the duration of MV Loch Seaforth overhaul. Due to the low utilisation during the first closure, it is not economically justifiable to charter to provide network resilience.
Second Outage: Ullapool-Lochmaddy Timetable
Monday - Saturday
No change from first closure period.
Service may be impacted on 10 December 2023 due to vessel trialling new infrastructure at Uig
Second Outage: Ullapool-Stornoway Timetable
Monday - Friday
Same level of service, amended timings to accommodate MV Hebrides
2h 40m sailing to align with standard winter timetable (CityLink timetable to reflect changes)
Excludes overnight freight sailings
Excludes overhaul relief periods
Second Outage: Mallaig/Oban - Lochboisdale Timetable
No change from first closure
During overhaul relief periods, the service is expected to operate a daily return from Oban
Second Outage: Berneray-Leverburgh Timetable
Monday - Saturday
No change from first closure
*An additional daily return Monday - Saturday during this period (10:35 from Berneray and 11:45 from Leverburgh). This sailing will operate on a request basis to cater to demand.
Second Hand Tonnage
Chartering of MV Arrow to provide additional resilience and capacity during Loch Seaforth overhaul.
Deployment of MV Alfred dependent on network status at time.
Transport for displaced Tarbert/Uig - Uig/Lochmaddy foot passengers will continue to be provided. An additional connection to the last Stornoway arrival will be provided for the second closure.
Customers utilising Lochmaddy/Ullapool will not pay higher fares.
Customers diverted to Stornoway - Ullapool, Lochboisdale - Oban/Mallaig will continue to be offered equalised fares via retrospective refunds.
We will publish a dedicated web page with full details and information for customers in advance and during the closure.
Uig - Lochmaddy
Mallaig/Oban - Lochboisdale
Ullapool - Stornoway
Berneray - Leverburgh
No Tarbert - Uig service
Capacity offered during overhaul periods will vary due to relief vessel deployment
First Outage - Key Service Continuity Lessons Learned
Caledonian MacBrayne communications throughout the project including the consultation stage, confirmation of service continuity plans, publishing of timetables, refund process, closure period and extensions to closure caused uncertainty within communities and require improvement.
Caledonian MacBrayne reviewing internal customer journey processes to ensure communication is improved for the second closure.
Caledonian MacBrayne to visit communities in advance of the second closure and update on plans.
Caledonian MacBrayne working with project partners to improve communications and to ensure updates are provided to communities at the earliest possible opportunity.
No transport connection for last Stornoway arrival.
Caledonian MacBrayne planning to provide an additional bus service to connect with the last Stornoway arrival.
Ullapool marshalling area does not have capacity to manage additional vehicular traffic. Location secured by Caledonian MacBrayne as an overflow car park was not suitable.
Caledonian MacBrayne exploring alternative locations for the overflow car park at Ullapool.
Disruption management was not sufficiently covered outwith office hours.
Caledonian MacBrayne planning to create an out of hours contact centre to manage disruption and proactively contact impacted customers.
Capacity on Sound of Harris was higher than expected due to MV Loch Bhrusda overhaul and withdrawal of 'triangle services'. This resulted in MV Hebrides providing an ad hoc Lochmaddy - Tarbert service
Caledonian MacBrayne are limited in providing additional Berneray - Leverburgh sailings as the service can only operate during daylight hours.
MV Loch Bhrusda and MV Loch Portain will not be in overhaul during the second closure as such, there is expected to be sufficient capacity during the second closure.
Lochmaddy - Tarbert to be considered as an available contingency during the second closure however, a regular service to Tarbert cannot be provided due to the additional passage time involved in operating to both ports.
Lochmaddy - Uig services were impacted by pier works taking place at Lochmaddy.
Pier works at Lochmaddy will be substantially complete in advance of the Uig closure and any final project activities taking place after 31 October are not expected to impact the ferry service.
If you have any questions or require further information, then please contact the email address below and a member of the project team will respond: email@example.com