Newly Re-elected MSP for Falkirk West Michael Matheson has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Government to name Cal Mac as the preferred tenderer for the Clyde and Hebrides ferry network.

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, provide 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.

In welcoming this decision Mr Matheson said;
“I know many constituents who use CalMac services to the islands, including myself have a deep emotional attachment to CalMac as a company.

“I know from my discussions with constituents they will be relieved and pleased with this decision and that ferry services will be improved over the coming years to the islands. It will also be seen as good news for the staff who work for CalMac as this decision has been hanging over them for some time.

“It also puts to rest any allegations that a contrary decision on this matter was not made until after the election”