CalMac says there has been an increase in abuse aimed at its staff and is calling on the public not to vent their anger at those running its services.

The ferry operator says some passengers have shown their frustrations with staff when they have been refused travel.

Tommy Gore, CalMac Area Manager (Clyde), said: “Abuse of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Our staff are doing a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances and should be applauded for the key workers that they are.

“We understand it can be frustrating to be told that you are unable to travel but staff have to follow the rules and regulations that are in place to keep us all safe.

“Some of them have been subjected to increasing levels of verbal abuse as a result of doing their job.”

With travel between Largs and Cumbrae not yet permitted for leisure and recreation, Tommy says this can often lead to passengers being turned back.

He added: “This is only a minority of people causing the problem, but we would like to encourage all passengers to think about whether their journey is meeting the guidelines set by the Scottish Government.

“We are still working to a reduced timetable with very limited spaces, and people thinking about travelling should consider that they might be taking a space away from an essential worker or island resident.”

A new timetable is currently being planned which will increase sailings to reflect the easing of travel restrictions and the added demand this will put on the MV Loch Shira.