There has been quite some negative news about Calmac recently. First there was the "collission" at Kennacraig with the passenger bridge, then the Linkspan at Port Askaig was damaged by one of the ferries after a strong gust of wind, and a couple of weeks ago there was the heavy berthing of MV Hebridean Isles at Port Ellen when the ferry "touched" the roundhead. Although these incidents caused problems here and there, the vast majority of the ferries were on time. I think it's therefore fair to say that Calmac provides a very reliable and friendly ferry service, that is probably how many people experience it, I know I do. These reliable ferry services provided by Calmac, and friendly staff I might add, were the reason that the company received two awards in the last months. First there was the award for Best ferry company by the 2010 Guardian, Observer and guardian.co.uk Travel Awards and this week was announced that Calmac has won an award for Public Transport Operator of the Year. A quote from the Shipping News website:
The two Islay Ferries: Hebridean Isles (left) and Isle of Arran (right)
"Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, (CalMac) has won its second prestigious award of the year, after being named â€œPublic Transport Operator of the Yearâ€ at the Scottish Transport Awards in Glasgow. The company, which operates on 24 routes across the West coast of Scotland, was presented with the award by Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson MSP, at a ceremony in Glasgow (November 18). It is the first time the award has been won by a ferry company. In October, CalMac beat 12 major ferry operators to be named â€œBest Ferry Operatorâ€ in the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2010. The award was one of 22 categories under which readers were asked to rate the quality of service they received on their holidays across the world. Phil Preston, Managing Director of Caledonian MacBrayne said: â€œThis latest award is particularly pleasing coming so soon after our Guardian and Observer Award. Once again the hard work and dedication of all our staff on shore and afloat who strive daily to maintain these essential services to some of the remotest communities in Europe in some of the most hostile sea areas in Europe, has been recognised at the highest level."