Ferry operators CalMac has today diverted sailings away from Uig Harbour – just hours after the pier was scheduled to reopen for traffic.
The decison follows Highland Council’s announcement that vehicles greater than 10 metres in length would be unable to travel on a temporary bridge.
Harbour works carried out by Highland Council have closed the pier since early January – though normal timetabled sailings to Uist and Harris were expected to resume today (23rd March).
This was already 10 days behind schedule, and CalMac has decided that a partial re-opening of the pier would bring too much disruption and uncertainty to haulage traffic. The ferry company has instead suspended any attempt to sail from Uig until next Tuesday.
Customers who intended travelling via Uig today will be diverted via Stornoway – Ullapool and an additional service will be provided between Tarbert and Lochmaddy.
From 24th March – 27th March CalMac will revert to the Uig closure services with a daily service provided between Lochmaddy and Ullapool.
A CalMac spokeswoman said: “We were assured by Highland Council, who are the Harbour Authority, that there would be no restrictions on operations at Uig – however, this has now been proven to not be the case. We are seeking urgent confirmation of the situation from Highland Council as this has caused enormous disruption and upset to our customers.
“We are pressing Highland Council to resolve this matter as quickly as possible so that we can resume our services to Uig.
“We plan to resume normal Little Minch services on 28th March – however, we will continue to liaise closely with the Highland Council and monitor the situation at Uig. We will provide further updates as we progress.
“We are seeking urgent confirmation of the situation from the Council as this has caused enormous disruption and upset to our customers. We are pressing the Council to resolve this matter as quickly as possible so that we can resume our services to Uig.
“We fully appreciate and share the frustration felt by communities regarding this very late notice from Highland Council, which brings more uncertainty to our communities regarding the reopening of Uig. Please be assured that we are working closely with The Highland Council and will provide a further update as soon as we are able to.”
A second closure of Uig pier is scheduled to begin on 30th October and last until 11th December.