Shadow Transport and Islands Minister, David Stewart, has welcomed the announcement that CalMac Ferries is to embark on a major tour of Scotland’s west coast communities to ask ferry users how the customer experience can be improved on their lifeline services. 

Board members and senior executives from CalMac’s parent company David MacBrayne Ltd will host 24 public meetings in mainland ports and on more than a dozen Clyde and Hebridean islands over the next few weeks. May 26 is the big day for Lewis and Harris.

The Highlands and Islands Labour MSP said: “I fully support what CalMac is doing here in getting out to speak to the communities who depend on these lifeline services. 

"It is vital that ferry operators ensure all island councils, businesses and local communities are engaged in the process of informing and shaping future ferry services.  Local voices and opinions must be heard on matters such as the frequency of sailings, the type of vessels deployed, the routes and the times of departures and arrivals."
 
Mr Stewart continued “Business of all kinds - freight, tourism, retail – local councils and local people must be given more buy-in to what is needed to maximize the economic opportunities in their areas.  Indeed CalMac should be asking if there is a need to tender at all for lifeline services as EU guidelines suggest that lifeline services should be excluded from the tendering process altogether."
 
The programme of public meetings can be accessed via the following link :- www.calmac.co.uk/community-engagement-meetings.  They include:

Tarbert (Harris)

26-May

12:30 - 14:00

 

Stornoway, Lewis

 

26-May

19:00 - 21:00