CalMac Ferries, who runs the ferries to and from Islay, has been recommended by the annual review report Transport Scotland Vessel Replacement and Development Plan that their next ferry being built should be allocated for the Islay-Kennacraig route. The current vessels for this route are the MV Finlaggan and the MV Hebridean Isles. Should the recommendation be adopted the build time for the new ferry will be around 3 years meaning its first sail should be in 2021, and it should replace the MV Hebridean Isles.
CalMac was also recommended to develop the ports to allow longer vessels, making it possible to increase the length by 10m (from 90m to 100m) for the new ferry and the MV Finlaggan by lengthening it. The new ferry is recommended being aimed at freight services and an overnight service should be considered.
The report also stated the Islay-Kennacraig route is the most capacity-constrained of all the CalMac routes. The average capacity utilisation aim was 70% but at peak period it was above 80%.
The Transport Scotland Vessel Replacement and Development Plan is an annual review report, this year’s was released late this February but is reviewing the year 2016. The full report can be viewed here…