Our response to winter timetable proposals.

The feedback we have received from the community to CalMac’s proposed winter timetables has been very strong. Whilst the two-vessel timetable has many advantages over previous winters, the periods where it is proposed that the Loch Frisa operates on her own give a completely inadequate service, both in terms of capacity and connectivity.

We met with CalMac officials on Friday, where we were told that no significant changes could be offered (aside from an additional sailing on Sundays). It is completely unacceptable that our communities have been presented with such a poor timetable so late in the day. We have made our views known to both CalMac and the Transport Minister. It appears that the Minister has approved proposals to alleviate the impact of the Uig port closure (partly by re-deploying the MV Isle of Mull), without being made aware of the impact that would have on Mull and Iona.

It is clear that the Loch Frisa is incapable of delivering a service to Mull on her own at any time – she is simply too slow and too small. CalMac have been provided with a vessel that completely fails to meet the requirements of the route. CMAL are to blame for that poor choice. It is compounded by CMAL’s earlier decision to obstruct the purchase of the Mull Catamaran that could have delivered a far superior service.

We are insisting that the single-vessel Loch Frisa timetable is not introduced, and that a two vessel service is in place uninterrupted for the whole winter.

9 thoughts on “Our response to winter timetable proposals.

  1. When the Loch Frisa is on service alone children leaving Iona and the Ross of Mull for school on Monday morning have no opportunity to purchase breakfast. Having left home at 6am the first chance to have food is school lunch. I’m sure you will agree that this is unacceptable and not good preparation for a busy day in school.

  2. I entirely agree with the Ferry Committee’s comments on the single vessel Loch Frisa timetable. Unfortunately the chain of Calmac/CMAL/Scottish Transport/Scottish Government had (as usual) made up their minds before consultation was started.

  3. It is simply outrageous and unacceptable. What on earth are they thinking. Well very obviously they aren’t. Thank you again for your continued hard work and dedication. If only they had even a smidgen of this we would not be in this mess.

  4. There are two other routes on and off the island, and in response to the comments about children travelling to school, can their parents not feed them before they leave home?. I can remember not so many years ago there was only two sailings per day in the winter, you don’t know your born!!.

  5. I have concerns over the Frisas ability to withstand the winter weather! The Iona children already miss a fair amount of school due to cancellations of the Iona ferry due to weather and lack of breakwaters. Will we now have to contend with the Mull boat being constantly cancelled and will this information filter through to Iona before the children depart at 5.55am? The lack of facilities and space for the children is also very concerning. It’s not acceptable that the Frisa is our only option for a number of weeks.

  6. Completly agree with Committees’ comments. Loch Frisa simply is not fit for purpose nor is the proposed winter timetable. Mull residents are disadvantaged again.

  7. Our service seems to be getting poorer and poorer as the years are going on Friosa takes very few cars too. This is just unacceptable, we seem to have to just grin and bear it as no one listens to our needs as a community

  8. An anomaly exists for the Iona service during the 2 vessel Oban/Craignure service. A bus is timetabled to leave Craignure at 11.15 arriving Fionnphort at 12.30 i.e. 15 minutes after departure of Iona ferry, the next being at 14.15. There seems no reason why that bus could not depart up to 30 minutes earlier thereby making the connection quite easily?

    1. Hi David. Strictly speaking busses are out of our realm…. but its our understanding that West Coast Motors have two different timetables, one to match each ferry timetable. I suggest you contact WCM to check.

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