CalMac Ferries Limited has been announced as the preferred tenderer for the next contract to operate the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) network by the First Minister.

CalMac’s bid makes almost 350 commitments to improve the service, aiming to help drive economic growth, improve customer service and make sure the company delivers value for money.

Proposals include:

  • £6 million investment in vessel and port improvements
  • The introduction of smart and integrated ticketing systems on key routes
  • Increase passenger/vehicle traffic by 10% and commercial traffic by 12% over the course of the contract
  • Providing more opportunities for local employment, including more apprenticeships
  • The creation of a new Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement post and a Communities Board to better involve communities in investment and services decisions
  • Retaining its head office in Gourock and maintaining its status as a Living Wage employer
  • All existing routes and services will continue to operate as they do now

In addition to these headline proposals, CalMac has committed to retaining the CalMac pension scheme and a policy of no compulsory redundancies.

The tender price for the next contract is around £900 million for eight years from 1 October 2016.

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