CalMac warning after turning back dozens of passengers

The west coast ferry operator said the number of people needlessly trying to travel is creeping up.
CalMac said only essential travel is currently permitted on its ferries.CalMac said only essential travel is currently permitted on its ferries.
CalMac said only essential travel is currently permitted on its ferries.

CalMac has revealed it had to knock back 35 passengers last weekend whose journeys were not essential.

They were attempting to travel from Largs, Wemyss Bay and Ardrossan to Cumbrae, Bute and Arran respectively.

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CalMac said it was the first weekend it had to turn away would-be travellers since the lockdown restrictions were imposed.

The firm said it hopes the forthcoming May holiday weekend will be a repeat of the Easter weekend when people heeded the advice to stay at home.

It is checking people’s reasons for travel before permitting them to board.

Port staff are asking to see drivers’ licences for proof they are an island resident, or evidence they are a key worker.

CalMac director of operations Robert Morrison said: “The good weather may tempt people to get out and about, but I would urge everyone to continue to follow government guidelines and stay home.

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“Getting a day trip to the beach is not essential travel and we will have no hesitation in refusing to board anyone who does not have a legitimate reason to sail with us.

“It should not have to be down to staff to ensure people are not travelling.

“There has to be an element of personal responsibility taken and people really need to be asking themselves is my journey really necessary.

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“If it’s for leisure and recreation, the answer is clearly no.”

CalMac has seen a 95 per cent reduction in passengers and vehicles across its network of 28 routes since the lockdown.

Advanced bookings have been suspended.

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