CalMac ferries ban motorhomes, campervans and caravans from standby queues

Scottish ferry operator CalMac says it will no longer let motorhomes, campervans and caravans into standby queues, meaning they can only board with a pre-booked ticket.

The change is being introduced with immediate effect to prioritise passengers who may need accommodation and to ensure that deck space and capacity is used more efficiently.

Calmac says it is intended as a permanent change – however, it will continue to be reviewed.

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Standby queues are available on all bookable CalMac routes and give any passenger without a ticket the chance to board if there are spaces left once all booked passengers have been processed.

CalMac says the announcement takes immediate effect.

Island residents who travel with a motorhome, campervan or caravan will be exempt from this decision and will continue to be allowed to use the standby queue, if they have proof of residence.

On non-bookable routes, all traffic will continue to be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Standby queues are separate to Turn Up and Go places, which were brought in to help islanders when covid travel restrictions were in place.

Finlay MacRae, Head of Operations for CalMac, said: "To prioritise customers without alternative accommodation and to optimise deck space at the end of loading, motorhomes, campervans and vehicles towing caravans will no longer be given a standby or waitlist position on all bookable routes - either at the reservation stage or on the day of sailing.

"Restricting larger vehicles in standby lanes will allow us to make the best use of any remaining space for smaller vehicles, whose occupants may not have alternative options available for accommodation. It will also remove the issue of larger vehicles filling up standby lanes, and smaller vehicles having to be pulled out of car lanes if that is all that can be shipped at the end of the loading process.

"This does not apply to motorhomes, campervans and vehicles towing caravans that belong to island residents who will continue to be able to use standby options. Island residency will be confirmed at the point of booking or point of application to join the standby queue and can be evidenced with a proof of address from a utility bill or similar."

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