The MV Isle of Cumbrae ferry has returned to service on Tuesday afternoon.

Drivers had been warned this morning of a four hour wait to reach the island after it had broken down, leaving the MV Loch Riddon as the only ferry on service.

The ferry operator says there is no wait time for foot passengers, and the company is asking people to consider travelling on foot if possible and to catch the connecting bus service to Millport at the Cumbrae slipway.

MV Isle of Cumbrae, the oldest ship in the CalMac fleet, returned to service at around 2pm today. 

The technical issue with MV Isle of Cumbrae has now been resolved and the vessel is resuming service. To clear the backlog of traffic a two-vessel shuttle service is in operation.

The latest breakdown comes on top of the prolonged absence of the route's usual vessel, MV Loch Shira, which is expected to be out of action until mid-June because of damage to its vehicle ramps.

A spokesperson for CalMac said: "Due to a technical issue with MV Isle of Cumbrae, the vessel will remain off service to allow for further investigations and repairs.

"As a result, MV Loch Riddon will operate a single vessel service as per the published timetable.

"Please be advised that due to a further reduction in capacity, wait times may be extended at both slipways.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: MV Loch Riddon, and the MV Loch Shira, pictured last summerMV Loch Riddon, and the MV Loch Shira, pictured last summer (Image: Newsquest)

"Due to issues with the vehicle ramps on MV Loch Shira, the vessel has been removed from service and is undergoing repairs in drydock.

"We encourage customers, where possible, to travel as foot passengers to/from Cumbrae Slip – there is a frequent local bus service connecting the slipway with Millport town centre.

"When travelling with a vehicle, queues can be expected, particularly at weekends.

"Please plan ahead as your first choice of sailing may not be available and wait times may be extended."

MV Loch Shira was withdrawn from service on April 5 and is awaiting the manufacture, transport, fitting and testing of replacement parts, which are being made in Poland.