Ferry operator CalMac has today (Sunday 1 March) launched the UK’s first online tool that gives public access to carrying data for individual ferry routes.

The simple-to-use online system allows customers to select a time period, route and traffic type, generating a report with full statistics at the touch of a button.

The data, which will be refreshed every month, is displayed in a table and can be viewed onscreen or printed. It’s based on the company’s audited statistics and allows people to compare carrying statistics by the month, by traffic type or by route.

Based on today’s data, the Stornoway-Ullapool route carried 10,529 passengers in January this year, with 4,184 cars, four coaches and 1,007 commercial vehicles. In the same period, the Uig, Tarbert, Lochmaddy service carried 5,383 passengers and the service between Castlebay and Oban/Lochboisdale just 961 people.

Carrying information will be available on each of CalMac's 29 routes.

CalMac's managing director Robbie Drummond said the company was the first to offer this level of transparency across all routes.

He said: “Previously if anyone wanted this level of detail it would have meant an extremely labour intensive series of reports to be run manually, then sent to the customer. All this information is now available instantly for anyone interested. People will now be able to see for themselves what our carrying figures look like on a monthly basis.”

The new online tool can be accessed at https://www.calmac.co.uk/corporate/carrying-statistics