A ferry service pulled just 24 hours after restarting due to a steering fault has been shelved for the foreseeable future amid concerns over a number of new parts needed for the vessel.
The MV Maid of Glencoul, which connects Ardnamurchan Peninsula with the mainland across Loch Linnhe, was relaunched on Monday after a weekend-long repair operation to fix an issue with its system.
But engineers have now discovered the boat – which is operating in place of the MV Corran as it remains in dry dock for its own repairs – needs further work before it can set sail again.
Highland Council, which operates the link, said it does not have a precise date for its restoration, though expects the MV Corran to be back in operation before then.
A temporary passenger service from Ardgour to Fort William began operating yesterday, with rib boats providing a foot passenger service following the route of the Corran Ferry set to begin from Thursday.
Drivers however face a near two-hour detour around the loch should they wish to go there by road.
The local authority apologised for any inconvenience caused, but said passenger safety remained its number one priority.
The council’s infrastructure convener, councillor Ken Gowans said: “Whilst we appreciate this is a very disappointing setback for everyone concerned, we share the disappointment and the frustration.
“The council continues to be in consultation with both the Scottish and UK Governments and other partners, and we remain focused on working tirelessly, doing everything we possibly can to find short, medium and long term solutions.
“It remains a priority to bring the main vessel, MV Corran back into service and the team continue to work closely with the boat yard to ensure that this remains on track to return as soon as possible.”