Thanks to everyone who completed our recent timetable surveys, we have submitted two change requests for the winter of 20/21 – one big, one not so big.
The not-so-big concerns Tobermory-Kilchoan, where a big majority of users want to add two return sailings on Sundays (currently there are none). In order to meet the Transport Scotland criteria that all changes are cost-neutral, the survey identified two sailings on Tuesday and Thursday that will be cancelled in order to balance the cost.
The BIG one is our repeated request for an Island Focussed Service on the Oban-Craignure route. This was backed by a reassuring 85% of respondents in our survey. We have a better chance of success this year than previously, because a budget request for the funding required was submitted by Transport Scotland on our behalf, and supported by the Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse. In a context of tightening government budgets however, we are not certain of the outcome. We will be working over this winter to try to ensure success – lots of letters and visits to parliament included.
We should know the outcome by late February / early March.