A study looking at the future of ferry links for the Western Isles has been launched.
It will look at potential options for the future of the network serving the Outer
Hebrides, including potentially adapting timetables, procuring new vessels, redeploying
some of the existing ferries and upgrading harbours.
Transport Scotland has commissioned a team of consultants to undertake this work,
in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).
They will be visiting communities throughout the Outer Hebrides to speak with ferry
users, businesses, visitors and local representatives, as they look to identify and
assess potential options for future investment and the provision of services.
This work will take place during 2018 and a report will be published by the end of
The vessel replacement and deployment plan highlights the islands as a priority area.
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “Our ferry services play
a crucial role for the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides and we want to progressively
renew the fleet operating on these routes and ensure the provision of suitable services
to meet the needs of island communities and businesses, in line with available funding.
“Our consultants will speak with local stakeholders and the public to hear their
views and help identify and assess options for the long-term provision of ferry services.
I would encourage people to take part in this process.
“We have also published our updated Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan. This
gives an overview of how existing, planned and prospective vessels could be deployed
across the Clyde and Hebrides network to deliver our Ferries Plan commitments and
better meet forecast demand.
“Our ferry services are iconic transport links that play a vital role for our island
economies. Making sure they continue to support the communities they serve will always
remain at the heart of our ferry operations.”