Good news that the conclusion of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services tendering exercise has been reached and today’s announcement that Caledonian MacBrayne are to be awarded the contract.
The Comhairle worked hard with both bidders during the tendering process and are pleased to note that the process was found to be fair, open and transparent.
We welcome the proposal to award the contract to CalMac and look forward to building on good working relationships with management and staff in the firm. We particularly welcome a number of the pledges made by the company as part of their bid, in particular the provision of more opportunities for local employment, including more apprenticeships, the creation of a new Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement post and a Communities Board to better involve communities in investment and services decisions, and the introduction of smart and integrated ticketing systems on key routes.
We will continue with our campaign for more management and administration roles associated with the ferry services to be based in the islands and look forward to working with CalMac and Scottish Ministers to that effect”.
The importance of these lifeline services to the communities and the businesses of the Outer Hebrides cannot and should not be under-estimated. We are confident that working in partnership with Scottish Ministers, Transport Scotland and CalMac in the delivery of the contract will ensure continuous improvement in these services to the benefit of all.