Date lodged: 24 October 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how many ferries were (a) delayed and (b) cancelled in winter 2016-17 due to weather conditions, and what steps it is taking to help reduce this in 2017-18.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 7 November 2017
The number of ferries that were (a) delayed and (b) cancelled in winter 2016-17 (24 October 2016 to 30 March 2017 inclusive) as defined within the Public Service Contracts with the Scottish Ministers due to weather conditions is as follows:
• CalMac - (a) 522 delayed and (b) 1768 cancelled out of a total of 48,011 scheduled sailings, 1.6% and 3.68% respectively.
• Serco NorthLink Ferries - (a) 101 delayed and (b) 28 cancelled out of a total of 884 scheduled sailings, 11.43% and 3.17% respectively.
• Argyll Ferries Ltd - (a) 27 delayed and (b) 305 cancelled out of a total of 8,256 scheduled sailings, 0.33% and 3.58% respectively.
During periods of bad weather the ferry operators providing lifeline ferry services to the Scottish Government under a Public Service Contract will, where possible, advise the travelling public in advance of any potential disruption. This information is provided via the ferry operator’s website, texting, social media, as well as the national and local media.
In addition, where periods of bad weather are anticipated, the ferry operator will seek to try and flex the scheduled ferry service timetable to provide sailings in advance of, or following on from, the disruption to the timetabled services, to try and minimise any impact on our remote and island communities.