Local News for Monday 4th September 2017

Four check-ins at Stornoway airport
The start of regular flights by Loganair, carrying its own livery as an independent operator, was marked on Friday at Stornoway airport. Most noticeable to travellers will be the fact that four check-in desks are now open at the airport - two serving Loganair passengers and two Flybe. It’s the first time all four desks have been in operation since the new airport opened. Loganair have taken over services on all routes in the highlands and islands, but since their decision to go it alone, Flybe has decided to compete on the lucrative Stornoway Glasgow route, working with Eastern Airways, who also serve Aberdeen passengers. The competition has seen fares slashed and increased traffic from the airport. Passengers need to book tickets, passenger assistance and check-in via the airline of their choice on one of the two airline websites.

Read more: Local News for Monday 4th September 2017

Local News for Monday 7th August 2017

Weekend of celebration in Stornoway
Saturday’s Lewis Carnival has been hailed ‘the best for years’ by happy islanders who spent a sunny day enjoying a buzzing atmosphere in Stornoway town centre. The Carnival, organised as always by Stornoway Round Table, was this year held in tandem with Stornoway Harbour Day, meaning streets and quays humming with music, stalls, games and activity as well as boat trips and sailing on still waters in and around the harbour. The funfair and European market were also beside the harbour, and crowds found plenty to do on an extended carnival day out. The all-important Carnival Parade was bigger than ever, led off by Lewis Pipe Band and followed by Carnival costume competitors, RNLI fundraisers and a parade of floats on DR Macleod trucks. Floats included those themed on Strictly Come Dancing, Women’s Suffrage and a new TrumPutin ferry alliance and were followed by bikers in superhero and super-villain costume, Scottish Fire and Rescue and a cavalcade of dog-walkers. The Lewis Carnival Facebook page has links to hundreds of pictures, and to comments from people who attended such as this: “Today was the best Carnival day in years, the weather helped but having it all so brilliantly organised and laid out with things going on from 11am all round the town, very well planned and organised so hats off to the committee.”

Read more: Local News for Monday 7th August 2017

Local News for Friday 4th August 2017

Big weekend in Stornoway
There’s another big celebratory weekend coming up in Stornoway town centre, as the annual Harbour Day and Lewis Carnival run side by side for the first time. The two events will create another weekend of festival atmosphere, with a European Market and the Carnival funfair already drawing people into the town. For the first time this year the day starts with a Carnival mile, sponsored by Natural Retreats and leaving the Castle Green at 11am. There’s fun indoors and out around the town, with stalls and sideshows in the Town Hall, Perceval Square, on the quayside and on the street. The Carnival Parade leaves Willowglen at 1pm. Perceval Square closes for parking from 6pm tonight and organisers ask that no-one leaves cars either here, or on Comwell Street, which will also close for the parade. South Beach car park will be open for parking as usual. Volunteers are being asked to head into town early tomorrow to help get a big marquee up in Perceval Square. Your help is needed from 9am and helpers will be rewarded with burgers from the Round Table barbecue.

Read more: Local News for Friday 4th August 2017

Local News for Friday 3rd August 2017

Growing concern for missing tourist
Land and air searches have continued in the Western Isles by emergency services looking for German tourist Torsten Kulke, who was last seen when dropped off by a taxi near Aird Uig at about 6pm on Friday. He has not had booked accommodation and is not believed to be carrying camping equipment. The 48-year-old man was reported missing by his wife in Germany on Monday. Search activity this week was co-ordinated by Police Scotland working with volunteers from Coastguard teams and Hebridean Mountain Rescue. Yesterday coastguard volunteer teams from Bragar, Stornoway and Ness joined Rescue helicopter R948 with the search moving southwards towards the Mangersta area.

Read more: Local News for Friday 3rd August 2017

Local News for Wednesday 2nd August 2017

More Saturday sailings on Stornoway route
CalMac is to run extra late-night sailings between Stornoway and Ullapool on Saturdays August 5th, 12th, and 19th, to help address what they call ‘unprecedented demand’ on the route. Robbie Drummond, Director of Service Delivery at CalMac, said there was a significant and unprecedented increase in ferry traffic across all of our network leading the company to look at ways to ease the pressure on key routes. He said: "In many places our fleet is working to the limits of its capabilities but, in the case of the Stornoway-Ullapool route, we have identified an opportunity to introduce, on a pilot basis, an extra return sailing late on Saturday nights for three of the busiest weekends in August." The late Saturday sailing will set out at 10pm each Saturday, with a return sailing at a quarter to one. Catering service will be minimal and there will be no bus services meeting the ferries. The sailings will be available for online booking shortly and will be monitored to assess its success.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 2nd August 2017