New ferries due to join Caledonian MacBrayne’s fleet have been affected by delays.
The first ferry, MV Glenn Sannox, due to operate on the Brodick-Ardrossan route, was originally due to enter service this summer.
Ferguson Marine on the Clyde was the winner of the Scottish Government contract worth around £97,000,000 to construct the new dual-fuel ships. The ferries will be the first hybrid vessels for the operator.
Calmac have blamed unexpected technical challenges in the creation of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) ferries.
News of the delays has caused frustrations to islanders and passengers alike. There have been calls to increase capacity in order to meet the greater demands that the summer season has brought.
A revised timetable for the new ferries is due to be announced in the next few weeks.
Transport Minister for the area, Michael Matheson, described the situation as ‘disappointing’, however believes the contract will eventually deliver a boost to west coast ferry services.
"While this further delay is disappointing, it is important to focus on the fact that we will have two new ships joining the fleet serving the Clyde and Hebrides network that have been built in Scotland, providing vital support to our shipbuilding industry."
Ferguson Marine have now confirmed the Glenn Sannox will be ready by next summer.