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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 10:26 GMT

Sunday sailing decision postponed

CalMac ferry arriving
Road equivalent tariffs are to be tested on routes to the isles

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne will not embark on controversial plans for Sunday sailings to the island of Lewis in the immediate future.

Its board has discussed the issue, but postponed taking any decision until the details of a road equivalent tariff (RET) pilot have been agreed.

The Scottish Government plans to trial RET on routes to the Western Isles.

The pilot would link ferry prices to the cost of travelling the same distance by road.

Economic benefits

It will cost about 22m to operate over three years.

About 4,000 residents of Lewis and Harris have signed a petition against Sunday sailings.

A counter petition backing a Sunday service between Stornoway, on the traditionally Presbyterian isle, and Ullapool on the mainland has also attracted large support.

Supporters say an extended service would bring social and economic benefits to the island and that Sunday travel should be a matter of individual choice.

A seven-day service between neighbouring Harris and North Uist began last year despite local protests.

SEE ALSO
Cheap island ferry plan launched
26 Feb 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Sabbath sailing decision delayed
21 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
CalMac considers Sabbath sailing
26 Sep 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Sunday opening fight lost by pub
06 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'No going back' for island ferry
10 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Sunday ferry makes first sailing
09 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Sunday ferry service start date
03 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Sunday ferry splits communities
30 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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