A couple of days ago I wrote about the possible privatisation of CMAL, from which David MacBrayne Limited is the parent company. The main goal of this privatisation is to save money, almost Â£1bn is the target. Interesting to know, as a background, is the information which was published in the Ileach: "An article by Alf Baird and Roy Pedersen in the Scottish Transport Review claims that the one hundred or so ferries operating in Scotland today have an average age exceeding 20 years, and that they have a designed operating lifetime of about 30 years. The authors claim that: 'this basically means that we need to replace almost 100 ferries over the next 10-15 years. The price for that could be another Â£1.0 billion, or more.' This roughly explains the amount of money the privatised company needs in the next twelve years. Another interesting detail of this article are the two black and white images of the former Islay ferry MV Lochiel which I have included below. A wee trip back in time.
Left: The legendary MV 'Lochiel' was built for MacBraynes as a mail boat in 1938. She spent most of her operational life on the Islay route. Our picture shows a car being winched aboard at Port Askaig.
Right: This was not her finest hour. The ship sank 600yds from West Loch Tarbert after hitting rocks in 1960. She was re-floated however, and finally sold in 1970 after 31 yearsâ€™ service.