Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed today’s announcement that two new ferries will be built which will provide a dedicated ferry service on the Skye triangle during the summer months. 

The Scottish Government has prioritised additional funding to enable Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) to accelerate plans for replacement vessels in the CalMac fleet. 

Mr MacNeil: “The announcement that two new ferries will be built is to be warmly welcomed and I commend Transport Minister, Jenny Gilruth, for listening to voices from the island communities. I met with Ms Gilruth earlier this year and made clear that the current situation was completely unsustainable, and progress was needed. 

“I am also very glad to hear that the Scottish Government is pursuing all reasonable and appropriate opportunities to enhance capacity and resilience in the short term through second hand vessels. The Transport Minister has assured me that work is underway in that area. 

 This additional investment by the Scottish Government will bring two new vessels to the fleet, meaning a total of six major vessels will be replaced by 2026. 

The new ferries will be built to the same specification as the existing ferries under construction for Islay. This will speed up the replacement of the major vessel fleet and provide a more standardised vessel type that can be used on a variety of different routes. 

The overall project costs are estimated at around £115 million, including allowance for minor port improvements.