A timeline has been revealed for the main Largs to Cumbrae ferry's return to service.

And it's expected that MV Loch Shira will be out of action for more than two months.

The vessel was withdrawn from service on Friday, April 5 because of damage to both her vehicle ramps - damage which CalMac has confirmed was caused by the large number of commercial vehicles using the ferry.

Earlier this week it was reported that MV Loch Shira was not expected to be back in operation until late May.

But in a fresh update, issued on Tuesday, April 9, CalMac says it isn't expecting the vessel to return to service until mid-June at the earliest.

The ferry operator has told the Cumbrae Ferry Users Group that specialist parts have been ordered from Poland to replace those which were found to be "beyond repair".

Those parts require time to manufacture, transport and install - and by the time that's completed, the vessel is likely to have been out of service for more than two months.

Tommy Gore, CalMac's network resilience manager, said: "The vessel was removed from service on Friday April 5 after a routine ramp inspection identified cracks in the forward ramp hinge.

"Further inspections found that the damage found is beyond repair, and the hinge must be replaced to return the ramps to operational service.

"We have identified that the damage to the ramps on MV Loch Shira is the result of loading and discharging of large commercial vehicles, which exceed the ramps design safe working load.

"It is not possible to specifically identify which vehicles have contributed to this damage.

"The spares required to replace the ramp hinges have been ordered today, April 9, with a delivery anticipated in the week beginning May 20.

"This date will be confirmed closer to the time as the parts required are being manufactured in Poland.

"It is then anticipated that there will be 17 to 21 days in dry dock to complete the required structural repairs.

"We will continue to try and reduce the delivery time of the required spares and will work with our key suppliers to plan the dry dock work to be as efficient possible."

The route is now being covered by two smaller vessels, MV Loch Riddon and MV Isle of Cumbrae, with the latter due to be replaced by MV Loch Bhrusda from Friday, April 12.