Uig re-opening planned for 23 March
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The first of two planned closures of Uig Ferry Terminal is nearing completion. The planned eight-week closure which commenced on 16 January is currently in its final week and considerable progress has been made despite severe weather in February. However, some of the critical works which allow the ferry to operate from the port remain outstanding such as piling and linkspan testing.
To avoid unnecessary uncertainty, the Highland Council has taken the decision, in consultation with our contractor RJ McLeod, our partners Caledonian Maritime Assets, Transport Scotland and customer CalMac, to delay the re-scheduled opening of Uig harbour until Thursday 23 March, as opposed to Monday 13 March 2023. This will hopefully allow sufficient time for the completion of critical works.
The existing alternative ferry services timetable: Lochmaddy to Ullapool will continue until the works have been completed and the linkspan has been tested.
The Highland Council apologises for any inconvenience caused and will seek to minimise the delay to re-opening services. An update will be provided on the 14 March to confirm if the 23 March re-opening date can be advanced.
Chair of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Ken Gowan said: “It is disappointing, but understandable the outage period has had to be lengthened due to the extreme weather conditions that have been prevalent throughout the works period. While alternative plans will need to be extended for a further short period, this will enable the works to be completed safely and to a high standard.
“I am sure everyone supports our construction teams and contractors who have been working even during significant weather events, such as Storm Otto, and with unforeseen technical engineering challenges that can easily arise in these high-risk projects. We cannot control the weather and it was always going to be a factor, but the safety of the workforce on the ground plus ensuring we get the construction right is paramount.
“We are continuing to progress the works without delay. I am grateful for the encouragement we have had from the public and partners, in the knowledge we are doing all we can to reduce any disruption and to have Uig Harbour operational again.
“With temperatures set to plummet over the next week or so, consequently, we cannot rule out additional delays, although we do not anticipate further extensions, at this time.”
In response to the delay of the re-opening of Uig Harbour, CalMac will seek to minimise disruption and will continue to operate the following service continuity plans:
Ullapool – Lochmaddy
A service will operate between Ullapool and Lochmaddy.
No direct service will be provided to Tarbert.
MV Hebrides will operate the service between 13 – 18 March. MV Clansman will operate the service between 19 – 22 March.
Ullapool – Stornoway
MV Loch Seaforth will operate an amended timetable.
Mallaig/Oban – Lochboisdale
MV Isle of Mull will operate between Lochboisdale – Oban.
Support for freight across the route
Transport for displaced Tarbert/Uig foot passengers will be provided.
Customers utilising Lochmaddy/Ullapool or diverted to Stornoway - Ullapool, Lochboisdale - Oban/Mallaig will not pay higher fares.
CalMac will directly contact customers who have bookings between 14 – 22 March and are impacted by the continuation of service continuity plans.
In the event vessel outages occur and/or overhauls are further delayed during the extended closure period, CalMac's contingency plans would be invoked and vessel redeployment would be in line with the vessels available at that time. It is expected this would result in amendments to some services across the network.
Further information on the service continuity plans can be found on CalMac’s Uig Harbour closure web pages.
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