Posted by: tireecottage | June 20, 2010

Government Ferry Reviews

On the 9th April 2010, the Scottish Government met to discuss the ferry route from Oban to Tiree. Their minutes from their meeting have just been published today on their website. Although no specific actions were released to the public, the questions the ministers and reviewers make very, very interesting reading and will surely impact Tiree in some way.

Routes, Services & Integration – A belief that ferry services to Tiree have not improved in forty years, and also, “we do not require a Sunday service during the summer”. (Mary MacKinnon). The winter timetable is unacceptable and ‘the bottom line’ would be a daily service

A belief that CalMac services are run for the benefit of CalMac employees. Are our ferry services adequate to cope with the future ‘ Tiree Array’, a Scottish Power offshore wind farm of 100+ turbines in 2015-2020.

Summer timetable – need an extra Saturday sailing, not a Sunday sailing. Would be helpful to increase frequency of link to Barra. Alternate first landings between Coll and Tiree – would allow more day trips on Tiree. Need a daily service with a 24 hour turnaround

Issues with unreliability – None

Fares – The block booking issue is a myth and is used as an excuse by CalMac to cover inadequate capacity at busy periods.

Vessels – What is the Scottish Government timetable and procurement process for replacing the ageing fleet, (principally LOTI). Why can’t new vessels be put on order now as yards are slack. Why can’t new vessels simply be chartered. Why is there such a wide divergence between the standards of vessels provided by CalMac and those provided by NorthLink? Why can’t the NLF procurement process be adopted by SG/CalMac? The Lord of the Isles ( LOTI) was too small.

Ports & Harbours infrastructure – Safe access for the vessel in Tiree -the linkspan is exposed and the current vessel is unable to use stabilisers when docking

Port Operation & Ownership – NO Comments

Accessibility – Difficulty in accessing vessels – It is impossible for a passenger to carry a child, (for example), up a ramp with luggage also in their hand without a friend’s assistance, so why is there not some form of luggage management/forwarding.

Cost & Affordability – No comments

– No Comments

Methods of Delivery & Operation – CalMac staff are discourteous, do not respond to complaints and/or correspondence, and show no respect for important customers. It is almost impossible to get a booking on the LOTI during the busy summer timetable period and this is going to get worse as RET. becomes more popular with tourists. Recent large projects on the island had resulted in the ferry being fully booked

Financial Incentives – No Comments

Competition & Procurement – No Comments

Freight – RET -hauliers not passing on savings -although one haulier did comment that she had passed on some savings to larger customers

Other – No Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: