Author Archives: AdminTCC

MV Clansman / MV LOTI switches

Calmac advise that the MV Lord of the Isles will commence on the Tiree service on Sunday 27th January – ie two days earlier than originally planned . This is due to the Clansman being switched earlier into the Arran service to cover an additional delay to the MV Caledonian Isles’ Dry Docking(DD )

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MV Clansman :As per CalMac’s previous advise, the MV Clansman will also be switched into the UIG triangle  for most of March whilst the MV Hebrides is in DD.

Calmac’s current advise is that this be will from approximately Sat 2nd March to Tuesday 26th March andexpect MV Lord of the Isles to run to the published Clansman timetable.’

Tiree Linkspan/CMAL and CalMac Presentations

Tiree Linkspan/CMAL and CalMac Presentations

Click on the links below to copies of the  CMAL and CalMac presentations in An Talla on 4th Dec


The proposed ‘works’ period will be Feb-March 2020

If you have any queries /comments please forward them via the comment response  form on the CMAL website.

Re freight, and associated transport issues, TCC has already identified the following to be addressed.

It is not exhaustive. Any additional issues you feel need to be addressed please advise TCC.

  1. How many sailings/week are being considered

  1. Can the pallet carrier carry private cars (obviously it is possble )

  1. Transporting fuel it an issue?

  1. Implications for public utilities eg BT,SSE and NHS

  1. Implication for crofters ie feed and fertiliser supply

  2. Any livestock movements possible ie in trailers?

  3. Palletisation of goods where /when and how

  1. Utilisation of mobile cranes to ‘palletise’ the Clansman

  9 Utilisation of mobile cranes to LO-LO vehicles on/off the Clansman

10 Funeral Arrangements

11 Freight groupage arrangements

Also CalMac to explore the possibility of offering a car hire package ex Oban ie ‘X days hire for price of car by ferry, with pick-up/drop off Oban pier.

 CMAL-presentation-Tiree-linkspan-refurbishment 5 Dec

CalMac-presentation-Tiree 5 Dec

Tiree Linkspan Replacement CMAL Press release

CMAL Press release:


CMAL to host public meetings to share plans with community –

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) has announced it is planning to replace the linkspan decks at the ferry terminals at Coll and Tiree.

£3.7 million funding has been secured and, following a public sector procurement exercise, construction contractor George Leslie Limited has been appointed to undertake the works.

CMAL will host public meetings to share details of the planned arrangements for the linkspan deck replacements.  Communities are invited to attend their local meeting:

An Talla Community Hall, Tiree Tuesday 4th December, 4.00pm – 7.30pm

Individuals are welcome to drop-in at any time during the meetings.  Representatives from CMAL, CalMac and engineering firm Mott MacDonald will discuss the timing of the construction projects, details of the replacement process, port closure and the alternative ferry service arrangements to be in place during the works.  It is anticipated the work will take place in late autumn 2019 at Coll and early spring 2020 at Tiree.

 Brian Sydney, senior civil engineer at CMAL said: “The linkspan decks at the two ferry terminals are reaching the end of their serviceable life and are being replaced as part of our ongoing programme of harbour upgrades and improvements.  We expect each replacement will require a port closure period of three to four weeks to complete the works, subject to weather conditions.  If we can reduce the timescale, we will.  We know that timing and connectivity is vital for the islands and our aim is to minimise disruption as far as possible.

 “We will work closely with Calmac and our contractor to ensure that alternative ferry services for passengers and freight can be maintained throughout the construction period.”

 David Gibson, service delivery director, CalMac said:“We are aware of how important these lifeline services are to the islands and we are committed to minimising the impact on customers and the local community while these works are carried out.

Ferry Investment

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee (REC) chose earlier this year  to carry out pre-budget scrutiny on the strategic investment required to support Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS).

This has included three ‘ evidence’ sessions which has taken evidence from:-

CalMac-: Robbie Drummond (CEO) /  Simon Hulme IT Director/David McGibbon( Chairman)

CMAL:- Kevin Hobbs (CEO)/Jim Anderson (Tech Dir)

Others:-Angus Campbell (Ch/man CalMac Community Board)/Rob McKinnon (Outer Hebrides Tourism)/Ranald Robertson (HITRANs)/Roy Pedersen(Consultant  and author of Who Pays the Ferryman? – The Great Scottish Ferry Swindle) 

The relevant REC reports are  on the REC’s w/site  

TCC made this submission to the REC  

This pre-budget scrutiny has resulted in the foll primary recommendations to Scottish Government

Future strategic planning and associated investment:
The Committee—
• Calls on the Scottish Government to respond to criticisms of the lack of resilience in the fleet and to the evidence that CMAL has received less than half the amount of funding required over the last 10 years.
• In anticipation of the budget publication in December, the Committee recommends that the Scottish Government prioritise ferries investment with a focus on procuring new vessels to reduce the average age across the fleet and improve service reliability.
• In conjunction with this budget prioritisation the Committee calls on the Scottish Government to conduct an urgent review of the Ferries Plan to meet current and future needs. The islands must be served by a network of routes that fully meet the needs and aims to meet the aspirations of communities and encourage their long-term sustainability. The Committee considers it to be imperative that these proposals are underpinned by a fully co-ordinated strategy for the staged, ongoing replacement or refurbishment of vessels and any necessary work to upgrade ports infrastructure. It is essential that the strategy is supported by a delivery plan that includes a realistic and achievable programme of funding, which will give confidence to island communities and other ferry users. This ongoing programme of funding should be clearly reflected in all future Scottish Government budgets.
• As part of this review, the Committee recommends that the Scottish Government reflect on whether it may be more appropriate to procure a larger number of smaller vessels as opposed to larger, more expensive vessels, to meet future needs on certain routes. Although, it notes suggestions made in evidence that larger vessels may be more environmentally friendly and require a lower number of crew members across the service.
• The Committee recommends that the review should consider provision across the whole network with a focus on removing bottlenecks to each island community. Consideration should be given to identifying the islands where capacity is particularly constrained across a full operating day.
Other port infrastructure issues
The Committee—
• Asks for further clarity on how the berthing dues which CalMac pays to Trust, local authority or privately-owned ports are used. It asks the Scottish Government whether it would be possible for any requirement to be placed on these organisations to invest a proportion of those dues in harbour maintenance and investment.
• Where port infrastructure works are required the Committee recommends that the Scottish government work with all harbour owners to encourage a standardisation of ferry berthing points to allow greater flexibility in the network and allow a wider number of vessels to access ports.
Road Equivalent Tariff
The Committee—
• Recommends that the Scottish Government reflect on the evidence the Committee has received about ways in which RET may be further improved and developed in future. For example, differential or dynamic pricing and the ability for islanders to take priority, particularly in emergency situations. This evidence should be taken into account as part of the 2019 RET review.
• Notes the record number of visitors to the islands and calls for the Scottish Government’s views on ways in which the existing fleet and any additional resources might be used more flexibly and creatively to deal with freight and commercial business and alleviate pressure on regular passenger sailings.
Tendering and state aid rules
The Committee—
• Recommends that the Scottish Government review the procurement practice of ferry tendering in countries where state aid rules apply but they appear to be able to achieve a greater degree of flexibility and innovation to see what learning can be applied in Scotland.

Community engagement, equalities and improved customer experience
The Committee—
• Seeks confirmation from the Scottish Government on whether it intends to complete an Islands Impact Assessment on this year’s budget.
• Notes that the islands, like the rest of Scotland, have an aging population. It is essential that any new Ferries Plan and investment strategy take the changing needs and demographics of the islands into account.
• Believes that comprehensive STAG appraisals as well as community and trade union engagement are essential when dealing with life line services. It recommends that it would be good practice to produce an easily accessible response to any public engagement which outlines
what will be taken forward as a result of the exercise and any mitigating actions that will be taken if the action which the community calls for is unable to be delivered.
• Believes that better transport integration should be prioritised as part of any future investment strategy as it would contribute to the achievement of a number of environmental, socio economic, accessibility and funding objectives.

It remains to be seen if the REC’s  recommendations are incorporated in full, or part, in the  Draft Budget for 2019-20, publication expected early Dec

Click on this link for full text of REC_Committee_letter to Cabinet Secretary 

CMAL Tiree Presentation Oct 2018

Kevin Hobbs  CEO of  CMAL  gave a detailed CMAL-Tiree Presentation  to the Tiree Transport Forum (29 Oct)

He explained CMAL’s relationship  with Scottish Government- Transport Scotland- CalMac, the funding mode and income and expenditure streams.

He reviewed the delayed delivery prospects of the two new ferries under construction, which now  dictates a lack of fleet resilience  through till autumn 2020.

He also outlined what he regarded as the’ideal ‘CalMac fleet replacement programme by 2025 ie 10 ferries , 6 ‘ biggies’ all standard units of 90/95m LOA  and 4 small units requiring  upwards of £400m investment.

Ferry Investment has been a major consideration of the REC Committee which has now made detailed recommendations to Scottish Government.