Lochs makes history in Lewis with double-deckers for cruise contract

Over the past 20 years, several Scottish harbours have taken advantage of the increased popularity of cruising, presenting business opportunities for coach and bus operators.

While Covid dealt cruising a major blow, the market has recovered and is expected to continue to grow, with an increased requirement for excursions, tours and more specialised services when ships visit.

A new £59million deep water terminal at Stornoway on the isle of Lewis was completed in time for the start of the cruise season, with the first ship berthing there on April 1 when almost 1,200 passengers required transport between the terminal and town centre. A further 44 are scheduled to use it this year, while smaller ships will continue to use piers closer to the town.

This has led to the purchase of the firstever double-deckers by an operator in the Western Isles. Lochs Motor Transport of Leurbost has signed a contract to shuttle passengers on the 4mile trip between the new quayside and town centre. It has acquired four Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC doubledeckers, three of which were available at the start of the season, with the fourth expected within a few weeks. This follows its evaluation of an Enviro400 demonstrator last year, which has now joined the fleet.

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