Scottish Labour has revealed that the amount being paid out in compensation to CalMac customers has soared four-fold over the last four years.
In 2018-19 – the year that the delayed Ferguson’s Marine ferries were originally scheduled to be delivered – a total of £159,000 was paid out to CalMac customers for disruptions. This works out at an average of £13,250 a month.
In the first four months of 2022-23 alone, CalMac had already paid out £215,000 – an average of £53,000 per month.
This means passengers are facing more delays and disruption on CalMac routes, costing the publicly-owned operator four times more than it did in 2018-19.
Labour warned that the late Ferguson’s Marine ferries along with years of poor planning under the SNP have left island communities with an ageing fleet and left taxpayers with spiralling costs.
Commenting, Scottish Labour Islands spokesperson Rhoda Grant said:
“These spiralling costs expose what a mess the SNP have made of lifeline ferry services in Scotland.
“Our ferry fleet has been left to rust because of years of failed planning, as well as the ferry fiasco where the Scottish Government have failed to deliver two new ferries.
“Now islanders are stuck with chaos, cancellations and delays while taxpayers foot the bill.
“The SNP have no short-term answers and no long term plan to fix this shambles. We need a national ferry building programme that supports Scotland’s shipbuilding industry and delivers the ferries we need. In the meantime, they must buy additional tonnage to have enough capacity to cover the daily breakdowns that are happening due to the ageing fleet.”