Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of overseeing a “failure on a catastrophic scale” as islanders are being forced to ration food.
This comes as residents of the Western Isles have been left without essential food items in shops after CalMac ferries took out of service the ferry which transports food to the islands.
This is the third time in recent weeks that CalMac has halted the ferry service and they have warned that the disruption in services are likely to remain for another year.
CalMac’s managing director, Robbie Drummond said problems will ease over time as they are going to introduce new ferries.
He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, “Clearly customers are really upset about the latest disruption of last week and everyone at CalMac is deeply sorry for what they’ve been going through.”
“Our spend is increased by 70% over the last five years, from £21million to £34million this year.
“But what we really need, and you’re right, is that long-term investment program.
“Because that’s what will give the islands the service they need, and one that we can all be proud of.”
As a result of the disruption Sturgeon has been told to sort out the situation so that islanders can eat.
Former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, said, “If half the transport link to the First Minister’s constituency were removed overnight her constituents would be beating down her door and I’m sure a solution would be found in short order.
“Because this affects island communities, far from the central belt, residents are just expected to grin and bear it, even as their businesses suffer and their family members struggle to get to medical appointments.
“I believe that this is serious enough that the Parliament should be recalled and the minister made to explain why years of underinvestment in our ferry network has been allowed to lead us here.
“Islanders have been clear that if these ferry failures continue, the Scottish Government are risking an ‘island clearances’ as residents will simply find the situation intolerable.”
Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman, added, “People in the island communities throughout Scotland have been warning the SNP and the Greens for years that this type of thing could happen, and funnily enough it has done.
“For the Scottish government to sit back and watch failure on a catastrophic scale as they are doing is unforgivable in my book.”
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