CalMac has published its carrying figures for 2018. 

The Isle of Arran was again the most popular destination across the company’s network with a total of 913,005 passengers carried through Ardrossan and Lochranza, an increase of 1571 on 2017.

Total passengers carried for the year were recorded as 5,253,766, up from 5,238,164 on the previous 12 months, a 0.3% overall increase.

Vehicle traffic also increased from 1,429,935 to 1,428,346 a rise of 0.11%.

Commercial traffic was up by 0.33% from 80,023 to 80,286, while coaches carried dropped slightly from 10,917 to 10,846. 

The biggest recorded drop in both passenger numbers and vehicles was from Mallaig to Lochboisdale, due primarily to weather and technical disruption at the start of the year.  Both figures fell by almost 25%.

And on the Tarbert-UIg-Lochmaddy routes there was also a fall in traffic – with 3528 fewer passengers and 1755 fewer vehicles, falls of 1.8% and 2.2% respectively. 

On the Ullapool – Stornoway route there were 284,458 passengers, up from 276,243, a 2.97% rise with 2414 more vehicles, a 2.62% rise

There was also more vehicle traffic on the inter-Islands ferries up more than 2% between Berneray and Leverburgh and almost 4% between Eriskay and Barra.

CalMac currently sails 27 routes to island and remote mainland locations across the west coast and operates a fleet of 33 vessels.