Ferries entering and leaving the port of Oban in Argyll. Pictures by Bill Heaney

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Labour has accused the SNP of betraying island communities as ferry cancellations soar following problems with the fleet.

In the last five years the number of non-weather related cancellations on CalMac ferry routes has more than trebled, soaring by 237 per cent.

This follows years of chaos surrounding the SNP’s ferry replacement plan and high-profile delays to the delivery of two new ferries for these routes

In total, there have been more than 40,000 cancellations on CalMac routes since the 801 and 802 ferries were supposed to be delivered in mid-2018.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Islands spokesperson Rhoda Grant, left, said :“These spiralling levels of cancellations are a direct result of SNP incompetence.

“For years they have failed to modernise our ferry fleet, and now the island communities are paying the price.

“The consequences of this chaos are huge for islanders, who miss hospital appointments and be cut off from loved ones, and they are a hammer blow to businesses.

“The SNP must get a grip of the mess they have made and deliver a national ferry building programme to modernise our lifeline ferry fleet and support Scottish shipbuilding.”

In total there have been 40,989 cancellations on CalMac ferries between September 2018 and April 2023. Source: FOI

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