Repairs to keep the Caledonian-MacBrayne fleet of more than 30 vessels in operation has tripled through the past decade from £9.5million in 2011 to £28.6million during 2021 and with a total of over £200 million spent since 2007.
The news follows a Freedom of Information request by Scottish Conservatives and reveals the extent of rising maintenance costs with island communities warning members of the Scottish Parliament that the service was in an all-time critical situation.
The oldest vessel Isle of Arran has been in service for 39 years and more than half of the fleet have now exceeded their 30 year design budgets.
Conservative MP Graham Simpson said:
‘The age of Scotland’s ferry fleet is taking an ever-increasing toll on island communities and the public purse.’
He added that two vessels building at the Ferguson yard are several years behind schedule after running-up costs of £250 million and are still months from completion.
CalMac will be hoping for a better result with a pair of 5,800gt passenger and vehicle ferries ordered from the Cemre Shipyard in Turkey for Islay services and due for delivery in October 2025 and early in the following year.
Report by Russell Plummer