31 Oct 2018
Since October 2007 over 70,000 Scottish ferries have been delayed or cancelled on 29 routes operated by CalMac, according to figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.
A Freedom of Information response has shown that sailings on these routes were delayed 34,124 times and cancelled 39,314 times.
That means, in the space of 12 years, the equivalent to around 117 sailings a week have been delayed or cancelled.
The worst affected routes include those running between Ardrossan to Brodick and Wemyss Bay to Rothesay.
In addition, the figures show that in 2015/16 6,135 sailings were abandoned, the worst year out of the decade, while in 2009/10 only 1884 ferries were cancelled.
These findings come as the Scottish Conservatives are due to debate the chaotic state of Scotland’s ferry network under the SNP which has seen significant decline over the last 12 months later today (Wednesday).
In the debate, the Scottish Conservatives will highlight the poor performance of CalMac, the disastrous summer of 2018 where ferry service was the worst in eight years, question the SNP oversight of the ferry contracts and call for a long term ferry strategy.
Scottish Conservative Transport Spokesman Jamie Greene said:
“SNP management of the ferries has been nothing short of disastrous.
“This astonishing level of delay and cancellation must be extremely inconvenient to local residents and tourists and highlights the poor service that many islanders are receiving as a result of sustained underinvestment in our port and ferry infrastructure under the SNP.
“CalMac has admitted there is very little resilience within the fleet nor does there appear to be any long term planning.
“As things stand the situation is nearing crisis point during the summer season and ultimately island communities will be let down when things go wrong.
“The SNP clearly has absolutely no handle on this situation and must explain themselves to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people.”