The Ferry Committee have been campaigning for an ‘Island Focused’ service since 2010. Essentially this means a service that puts the travel needs of island residents first, by basing the ferry on the island rather than the mainland. By making the first sailing an island departure and the last sailing an island return, we get a longer useful day on the mainland.
When RET was introduced on Mull services in 2015, a second ferry was needed in the summer to meet the increased demand. A side effect of this was that we got our island-focused service for 7 months of the year, with the MV Coruisk being based in Craignure.
In the winter however we return to a single-boat service, with the MV Isle of Mull working out of Oban. Our campaign has continued therefore, by asking that the Isle of Mull over-nights in Craignure during the winter. Caledonian MacBrayne are supportive of our requests, but it is not possible without improvements to Craignure Pier, which is owned by Argyll and Bute Council. For more on the pier see here.
As part of our work we have created a draft winter timetable which you can see below. We consulted as broadly as possible on it, and took great effort that critical connections were maintained, as well as enabling some great new options:
- Full working day on the mainland every day except Sunday
- Meet the 9am train departing from Oban six days per week
- Arrive at your mainland destination two hours earlier than currently
- 6pm departure from Oban every weekday, rather than 4pm as currently
This service could make huge improvements to life on Mull, giving more flexibility to journeys off-island for work, easier appointments, cheaper school trips, more usable time away, less over-night accommodation…. and lots more.
We will keep pushing at every opportunity to achieve an island-focused service. We will keep you posted……