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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-02902

Keeping CalMac Public and Publicly-owned Ferry Services

Submitted by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Monday, January 24, 2022

Supported by: Neil Bibby, Foysol Choudhury, Pam Duncan-Glancy, Rhoda Grant, Ruth Maguire, Carol Mochan, Paul O'Kane, Alex Rowley, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, April 21, 2022

That the Parliament notes the view that lifeline ferry services should be in the public sector; is alarmed by the Scottish Government’s reported contract with Ernst & Young to review governance of Scotland’s public ferry contracts, including Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS); understands that the current operator, CalMac Ferries, the entire fleet and the majority of harbours on the CHFS network are publicly owned, employing 1,600 people; considers that unbundling of CHFS routes would mean privatisation; is concerned at reports that the Scottish Government has reneged on the commitment it gave the RMT in 2017 to build the case for permanent in-house operation of the CHFS contract; agrees with the reported view of the RMT that the CHFS network lacks resilience and capacity due to vessel procurement failures and not due to the public ownership model; understands that the contract with the public sector operator, CalMac Ferries, ends in October 2024; further understands that CalMac staff have helped carry over 47 million passengers and 12 million cars in the last decade and that the Road Equivalent Tariff fares subsidy drove a 20% increase in passengers, pre-COVID-19 pandemic, and notes the calls on the Scottish Government to categorically rule out extending private ferry operations or privatisation of any routes in the CHFS contract and to commit to keeping CalMac Ferries public and expanding ferry capacity and resilience in the public sector.