Craignure – Oban summer timetable loses two sailings

You may have received notification from CalMac today of changes to the summer timetable affecting Coruisk sailings. The last pair of the five daily returns run by the Coruisk will not be operated, and the crossing time of Coruisk sailings is being increased from 55 minutes to 1 hour.

The reasons for this are technical – as well as hugely frustrating. The Coruisk has developed an intermittent electronic problem on the bridge that occurs when control moves from one helm station to another. A technical fix has not been found. The MCA have agreed an operating protocol that overcomes the potential safety concerns – but it requires the Master to be on duty on the bridge at all times. In normal operation, it would be common practice for a more junior officer to be in control whilst the Master was resting. There are legal limits to the number of hours the Master may remain on duty each day. Due to the MCA’s requirement for the Master to be on duty at all times whilst the Coruisk is underway, the Master will now reach that legal time limit before the day’s sailings are complete. CalMac’s response is to remove the last two sailings from the timetable.

The MCA’s bridge protocol also requires the Coruisk to come to a complete stop just before berthing, whilst control moves from the central helm station to one of the wings. This procedure will add five minutes to the crossing time.

This amended timetable will remain in place for the entire summer. As well as a loss of much-needed capacity on an already highly restricted service (see here for more on that), one of the main results is a reduction of available time on the mainland. The last sailing from Oban on most days will now be 18:20, rather than 20:00 as is normal for the summer. For the complete amended timetable, see the CalMac site here.

As you can imagine, we have argued against this – but it seems there is no alternative. There are no additional crew members available and no spare vessels. We had suggested that alternative sailings should be cut, so that the available day on the mainland was not compromised – but this too was apparently not possible due to the hours of rest requirements.

6 thoughts on “Craignure – Oban summer timetable loses two sailings

  1. Don’t see why they advertise the Coruisk as taking 55 mins to complete the crossing when it usually manages it in 45 to 50 minutes. With this ‘stop prior to berthing’ rule, 55 minutes might actually be realistic.

  2. and while mull cataraman ferry that still construction at austrilia

  3. Alasdair Ingram 15th April 2021 — 8:17 pm

    Seriously disappointed in the level of Electrical engineering capabilities, unbelievable, obviously not speaking to the right people

  4. Peter Pinnington 16th April 2021 — 7:56 am

    It can’t be rocket science to find a fault like that, particularly as it can be replicated.

  5. Notice Coruisk on the Bute service this week with following restriction.
    Vehicle drivers and their passengers have no access to toilet facilities.
    This restriction did not apply when she was on the Mull service during last years lockdown.
    What will be the situation for this years Mull service ?

  6. when MV Glen Sannox still at Port Glasgow that there will be no service forever, till 2024.meanwhile Once MV Loch Seaforth will be on the Ullapool-Stornoway ferry crossing in may 2021 and MV Pentalina should be retained for the Mull route leaving MV Isle of Mull as second ship on the route and available to cover other routes in the event of technical problems elsewhere on the network. The opportunity of the new catamaran is in the yard in Australian it will launch. and when The people of Barra in particular would benefit from the availability of the MV Isle of Mull to cover their service during dry dock periods instead of the completely unsuitable MV Isle of Arran.

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