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Do you depend on Scottish ferry services?

Do you live in the Isles or does your mainland business depend on traffic to and from them? If so, Transport Scotland’s ferry services study could be of interest.

Traditionally termed “lifeline services” because they were considered essential but uneconomic to run, the Northern & Western Isles ferries were provided with only basic infrastructure and timetables.  Recently it has become clear that improved transport links can bring significant economic benefits to island communities; that high transport costs and poor accessibility deter visitors and constrain business growth, while reducing costs through road equivalent tariffs and improving accessibility encourages them. 

The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the future provision of ferry services, especially the publicly-owned West Coast ferry companies – David MacBrayne Ltd and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd. The findings will be published in the autumn. While the review will not lead to the termination of the Serco-operated Northern Isles service, it is clear that, subject to EU rules on state aid, the Scottish Government would like to award future contracts to a public operator like CalMac. 

To find out more and contribute your own views get in touch with Carol Nowbaveh on carol.nowbaveh@transport.gov.scot or 0131 244 1539.