Ferries union, RMT has expressed "disappointment" following the latest statement from shipbuilder Ferguson Marine on when the Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa ro-pax ferries will be delivered to public sector ferry operator CalMac.
Both vessels should have been in service in 2018 on the lifeline ferry routes operated by CalMac, under the original contract between the Scottish Government and Ferguson Marine.
However, the Glen Sannox will be delivered at the end of March 2024 and Glen Rosa is now subject to a further 6 month delay, meaning it will not be delivered until 31st May 2025, well after the expiry of CalMac’s current contract with Scottish Ministers.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said: “This is further disappointment for CalMac staff, passengers and local businesses, and puts the Scottish Government under real pressure.
"There is no guarantee that these delivery dates won’t slip further and added contingency costs of up to £30m are factored in.
"The long running uncertainty over vessel provision would be made worse by embarking on a tendering process for the next CHFS contract.
"We continue to urge the Scottish Government to rule that out and to directly award a contract extension to CalMac.
"That is something over which Ministers have direct control and they must end that uncertainty for workers and passengers at CalMac.”
The latest update on the Scottish Government’s contract for two new ferries on Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) routes operated by CalMac Ferries was provided to the Net Zero, Energy & Transport Committee earlier today.
The current CHFS contract between public sector company CalMac Ferries and Scottish Ministers expires on 30 September 2024.