Date lodged: 2 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will ask ferry operators to publish winter timetables to (a) allow extra time to be added for weather-related delays and (b) promote winter breaks.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 15 November 2017
The Public Service Contracts for ferry services subsidised by the Scottish Government are published on the Transport Scotland website. https://www.transport.gov.scot/public-transport/ferries/ferry-services/#
The operators of these ferry services are required to deliver the scheduled services (routes and timetables) as agreed by Scottish Ministers. The contracts specify arrangements for publication of timetables and booking information for all routes. Winter timetables for all the contracts are published timeously to maximise the opportunity for ferry users to plan and book their travel.
The operators are also required to work closely with local tourist boards and participate in local tourism initiatives and permit other organisations to advertise relevant ferry services information.
These ferry service contracts recognise that the weather is not a factor within the control of the operator - where sailings are cancelled or delayed due to weather, it is termed a “Relief Event” and no performance deductions apply. All of these operators provide summary sailing statistics on their websites.