View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Thursday 8 May

Morning all from SY, where it's overcast with a chance of a shower. The ferry has made its last departure from pier no 3 this morning, and will return this afternoon into pier no 1. Ferry arrivals and departures in and out of Stornoway will now be from pier no 1 until further notice. Pier number 1 is located along South Beach, near the Caledonian Hotel, where the MV Clipper Ranger normally docks during the daytime. Just been down to pier no 1 where the ferry has made its first appearance after its relocation. The marshalling area looks very, very small, and I dread what might happen this summer, when it gets really busy.

Spoke to someone who crossed over from Ullapool this evening, who described the arrangements on either side of the Minch as less than perfect. The gangway at Stornoway is unsuitable for any but the most nimble-footed, and the marshalling area by the look of it totally insufficient. In Ullapool, bus passengers are dropped in the carpark where ferry vehicle traffic is marshalled, adding to the pressure. How this is going to pan out during the summer months does not bear thinking about. Why this could not have been postponed for (or brought forward by) 6 months, to avoid inflicting this on our summer tourist trade is not for me to answer. Let's hope my gloomy prediction does not come true.

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