Highlands & Islands

Landing craft suggested for future Corran Ferry breakdowns

Military landing craft Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Using a military landing craft has been mooted as a temporary replacement on the Corran Ferry route

Military landing craft have been suggested as a possible solution to a breakdown of Lochaber's Corran Ferry.

A report to Highland councillors following a problem that affected the ferry last month said asking the Royal Navy for help has been suggested.

However, council officers said because of the volume of cars that are carried more than one landing craft would be needed.

Also, the ferry's slipways are not suitable for the military craft.

Last month, the Corran Ferry, which Highland Council operates on Loch Linnhe in Lochaber, was out of action for several days following a breakdown.

Image copyright @CorranFerry/Highland Council
Image caption A remotely operated vehicle emerges from beneath the ferry during inspections of its hull and propeller last month

The boat had drifted and hit rocks near a slipway.

The usual back-up ferry, the Maid of Glencoul, was unavailable because it was having a refit.

The Corran Ferry was able to return to service following repairs and an inspection.

The council officers' report on the incident said it cost the local authority £39,000 due to loss of income and the cost of the repairs and inspection, which involved a remotely operated vehicle.

The report to Tuesday's Lochaber Committee also praised the "meticulous" and "diligent" work of the ferry's staff in keeping incidence of breakdowns on the ferry at a low level.

Image copyright Roger davies/geograph
Image caption The ferry service is operated by Highland Council

Highland Council faced criticism at the time for having to suspend the service.

There were claims of a lack of information on the status of the service and contingency plans.

At the time, Highland Council said it had done "everything possible" to restore the service, and had put information on its website and on Twitter.

It also asked Traffic Scotland to warn people of the problems with the ferry with messages on its electronic signs on the A82 trunk road.

However, road works and warnings of heavy rain had to be given priority.

The Corran Ferry allows access to and from the communities of Ardgour, Morvern and Ardnamurchan via a narrow stretch of Loch Linnhe.

It is also used by people and businesses on Mull, who first travel to the mainland on the Fishnish-Lochaline ferry.

The Corran Ferry and Fishnish-Lochaline services also offer tourists an alternative to the Oban to Mull ferry.

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