A key Highland ferry service will not run over the Easter weekend due to “technical difficulties”.
Corran Ferry, which services the Ardgour peninsula, was suspended on Friday and will be out of commission for several days.
The service, which links to Ardnamurchan, is operated by the Highland Council and is the busiest single-vessel ferry route in Europe
The route crosses the Corran Narrows on Loch Linnhe, south of Fort William, and carries around 270,000 cars annually.
On Friday, the ferry operator posted on Twitter: “Due to technical difficulties the service is currently suspended…sorry for the inconvenience.”
It continued: “I am afraid the service will not be resuming today.”
It later added: “Unfortunately due to ferry breakdown issues there will be no Corran Ferry service over the coming days.”
The Corran Ferry Twitter account said it will issue an update when more information is available but it’s not yet known when the vessel will be back up and running.
Scottish Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said the suspension is “dreadful news” for local residents.
He said: “It will be hugely disruptive for local residents, visitors and businesses, forcing people to undertake far longer road journeys or to cancel plans entirely.
“That could be devastating for some local businesses, particularly within tourism and hospitality, who were looking forward to a much-needed boost from the holiday season.
“Unfortunately, this is exactly the scenario we warned about when it became clear the Corran Narrows service was going to be left relying on keeping a 47-year-old vessel, The Maid of Glencoul, operating with no back up at all.
“As the previous incumbent promised me they would do, the new transport minister must come and meet with local residents and other stakeholders to hear their concerns over the lack of resilience of the service, something so starkly highlighted today.
“Local people and businesses deserve a lot better than the service they’re currently getting, and they must be able to have some hope that things will improve.
“I know just how frustrating this must be for those who were planning to use the service today. It is simply unacceptable.”
Transport minister Kevin Stewart said: “The operation of transport links across the Corran Narrows is the responsibility of the Highland Council.
“Any decisions on maintenance, upgrades or options to replace ferries would be a matter for them. I would be happy to visit Lochaber in due course, to learn more about the council’s plans for the Corran Narrows.
”The previous deputy first minister also announced in the budget process that the Scottish Government would provide full revenue funding to councils who run their own ferry services.
“Officials are in discussions with the Highland Council about these costs.”
Highland Council have been approached for comment.