SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has urged islanders to ensure they submit a response to Transport Scotland’s consultation on the next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract.

The consultation opened in December, and will close next Friday, 8th March.

This consultation follows an announcement by then Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop in November that Transport Scotland would explore the feasibility of awarding the next CHFS contract directly to CalMac, using what is known as a ‘Teckal exemption’, in accordance with the Public Contracts Scotland Regulations 2015.

A final decision on the option of a direct award is due to be made this summer, while in the meantime communities are being asked to help shape what changes should be made to ensure the new ferries contract better serves the needs of islanders.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:

“CalMac port staff and crew work very hard to deliver as reliable a service as possible across the ferry network, despite the numerous challenges involved. The resilience of the fleet should see a significant improvement with the addition of the six major vessels currently under construction and due to enter service over the next couple of years.

“However, in my view there are elements of the current contract itself which should be amended to better reflect the needs of island communities for the coming years, as well as better measuring key performance indicators, for example, so as to drive long-term improvement for islanders, island businesses, and visitors.

“I have submitted my own response to the consultation, and would urge as many others as possible to do the same ahead of next week’s deadline.”

The consultation form can be accessed here:



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