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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-15994: Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 18 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the resilience of CalMac's fleet.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 3 May 2018

We recognise that reliable ferry connections are vital to the remote and island communities which depend on them. CalMac has assured the Scottish Government it is doing all it can to both improve the resilience of the fleet of vessels and to minimise disruption caused by breakdowns within its fleet.

In respect of current disruption to the services, CalMac is seeking to manage the situation by redeploying vessels within the fleet to ensure that lifeline connections are maintained to all the communities it serves on the Clyde and Hebrides network. The frequency of service for some routes will be reduced from normal during the period of disruption. Safety must, of course, be my and CalMac's top priority in delivery of services. Both CalMac and CMAL continue to search for additional tonnage on the open market and CalMac are exploring if they are able to provide additional sailings during this current period of disruption.

For the future, the Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan , published in January 2018, shows how existing, planned and prospective vessels could be deployed across the Clyde and Hebrides network to deliver the commitments set out in the Scottish Ferries Plan, and better address forecast demand. Future vessel provision on the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service network will be based on the conclusions set out in the report and the affordability of those proposals. A copy of the Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan can be found on the Transport Scotland website by following the link:

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/41509/vrdp-annual-report-2016-30-january-2018.pdf