Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, had described the three year extension for operators CalMac on the Clyde and Hebrides routes as a “hopeful” sign.
Today Scottish Ministers announced that a three year interim contract will be put in place for Calmac, meaning that it is not until 2016 that the full procurement process for a new contract will be complete.
Dr Allan commented: “The Scottish Government clearly has to put services out to tender, just as previous Government’s did.
“There are hopeful signs, however, that there will be more stability in future, given that the Government has delayed the process until 2016 and also sought permission from the European Commission for the six year maximum contract length to be increased.”
He also welcomed the confirmation from Transport Minister Keith Brown that the Clyde and Hebridean ferry services will be contracted in one single unit and not unbundled.
He said: “Today’s announcement by Transport Minister, Keith Brown, confirms the assurance given recently by the First Minister, that ferry routes will not be cherry picked or unbundled during the procurement process for Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services. This lays to rest much speculation to the contrary.”