I read an interesting article in the Press and Journal today about the state of Calmac's ferries and infrastructure. Apparently the government spent less money on the ferry infrastructure in recent years which resulted in reduced quality of services in Scotland. David MacBrayne Ltd (DML), the parent Company of CalMac Ferries Ltd and NorthLink Ferries Ltd, said in its submission about the Scottish Ferries Review that the government should increase investments despite the difficult economic climate. This appeal for more funds for investments in harbours come at a difficult point in time although the moment DML chose is a good one. The outcome of the Scottish Ferries Review has not yet been officially published, although it looks like some drafts have leaked already, and the government has to make dramatic budget cuts. Below are some quotes from the article which give you an idea of what is discussed:
The Hebridean Isles arriving at Port Askaig
The company (DML) said the use of harbours in cramped and shallow locations was compromising the size of vessels which can be used. It said the routes should not be split up into separate â€œbundlesâ€, because â€œit is very unlikely that an operator bidding for a single route could offer a better price or service compared to an operator with multiple routes who is able to share overhead costs and resilience capability across a number of routesâ€. In its submission to the continuing review, the company said that by 2013 the average size of the fleet will be double that in 1980. Its submission said: â€œIf ferry services are to continue to support the reasonable needs of the communities served, the cost of providing adequate capacity will result in more and larger vessels being needed, driving up the need for even greater investment in the fleet.â€ DML chairman Peter Timms said that investment in infrastructure had been slipping behind for years, reducing the quality of services. â€œIn addition to providing an environment which would encourage investment, longer contracts would also provide much needed stability for ferry users and the islands communities the ferries serve, who have had to endure unhelpful uncertainty over future ferry provision for many years,â€ Mr Timms said.