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The Ferries Community Board has spoken out on the long-running and economically-damaging CalMac ferry service fiasco.

Writing on its rarely updated Facebook page, the Ferries Community Board revealed it had met with Transport Scotland’s Chris Wilcock, CalMac Managing Director Robbie Drummond and CMal Chief Executive Kevin Hobbs on Friday (May 26).

The board’s post stated: “Board members strongly emphasised the high level of anger and frustration felt by communities across the network.

“The latest additional disruption during the initial phase of the introduction of the new ticketing system has increased the difficulties experienced by communities, businesses and individuals.”

The Ferries Community Board, therefore, called for urgent action to bring the fleet back up to normal capacity, pointing this is essential if further damage to island communities is to be avoided.

The board added: “Board members also expressed concern around the strain placed on front-line employees at this time and urged management to support these staff as much as they possibly can.”

According to their online boilerplate, the Ferries Community Board works to “‘influence and inform the policy and decision making for our network ferry services and to make sure the collective community voice is heard.”

Their focus is on the long-term viability of our islands and the critical role that ferry services play in island communities.

The Ferries Community Board, currently chaired by Angus Campbell from Lewis, was established as an independent body in 2017 as a key initiative in CalMac Ferries Ltd’s bid for the 2016-2024 Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract.

The board has 16 voluntary members from Kintryre to Lewis and meets quarterly. It also comprises several sub-groups covering various topics and initiatives. In addition, it fully supports the popular CalMac Communities Fund, which provides grants to community organisations across the network.

Image - The Ferries Community Board during a 2022 visit to the Ferguson Marine yard in Port Glasgow for a tour arranged by CMAL and hosted by David Tydeman CEO of Ferguson Marine.