Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has told the Scottish Government that its continuing buck-passing on the crisis-hit Dunoon-Gourock ferry service is a scandal.
Mr Cameron spoke after taking soundings from residents following news that the service will continue on a single-boat basis. This follows confirmation that work to refit the Argyll Flyer will take longer than expected.
He said: "The people of Dunoon and Cowal lost patience with this saga a long time ago, and this latest development will come as no surprise.
"Twelve years ago, when the SNP entered Government, they pledged that the service would be a priority.
"But twelve years on, there’s been no improvement.
"The frustration and anger that local people feel at the state of the service was made very clear at the public meeting of the Dunoon Ferry Action Group which I attended in April.
"The Scottish Government has to accept that this service is an essential part of the transport infrastructure of this part of Argyll.
"Ministers need to accept responsibility and take action. Their failure to get a grip is becoming a scandal."
Cllr Bobby Good (Dunoon), said: “Michael Russell, our local MSP and a senior minister, has been reduced to telling local people to write in and complain.
“Well, who are they supposed to complain to, if not to him and his ministerial colleagues?
"If the SNP Government had acted when they promised local people wouldn't need to complain. It's time the Government sorted this mess.
“Perhaps Mr Russell could take some time off from planning the next unwanted independence referendum, and focus some of his energies on an issue that really matters to his constituents?”