News of a three-year winter ferry service trial between Mallaig and Lochboisdale, starting in November, has been welcomed by local councillors. CalMac’s Lord of the Isles (1989/3,540gt) will offer one midweek and one weekend sailing to South Uist, with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar leader Angus Campbell commenting: ‘Whilst it is a pilot, we can be confident the results will generate a permanent service.’

Meanwhile, CalMac’s Mallaig-Armadale summer run car ferry Coruisk (2003/1,599gt) will be used this winter on the Gourock-Dunoon service of Argyll Ferries but taking passengers only on what are described as ‘key peak sailings’ and as back-up for the somewhat unreliable catamaran Ali Cat (1999/74gt, pictured).

Around 60 ferry protesters made the journey to the Scottish Parliament to press demands for use of the 250-passenger/40-car Coruisk at and Ken Barr of Dunoon Gourock Ferry Action Group said: ‘This is a little better than expected, but Coruisk should havebeen used as a direct replacement for Ali Cat.’

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