Kyles ferry back to normal after disruption

FERRY services between Colintraive and Rhubodach at the north end of Bute returned to normal at the end of the morning peak on Monday after the route’s regular ferry was twice struck down by mechanical woes.

A fault with the starter motor on one of MV Loch Dunvegan’s engines meant there were no sailings across the east Kyle from the start of service on Sunday until a relief ferry, the much smaller MV Loch Riddon, arrived from Largs to plug the gap at 2.45pm.

Repairs completed, the resident vessel returned to service at around 7.30pm on Sunday and completed the timetabled sailings for the day – though the cancelled sailings meant the island had to do without its Sunday newspapers after the John Menzies delivery driver bringing them to the island ran out of working hours and had to return home.

The disruption to the ferry timetable, however, was not over, as mechanical gremlins struck the ‘Dunvegan’ again at the start of service at 5.30am on Monday – though this time the fault lay with the fuel pump to the vessel’s other engine.

The ‘Riddon’ – which was built for the Kyles crossing in 1986 – was summoned from Largs once again to fill in, but the fault on the larger ferry was fixed by 8.30am and normal service resumed thereafter.

Meanwhile, this Sunday, August 28, is the last day of the later evening sailings on the Rhubodach-Colintraive route for this year.

From August 29, the last departures of the day will be at 7.55pm from Colintraive and 8pm from Rhubodach.