GDPR to blame
Dear Dr Campbell, Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding our process for wait-listing car reservations. Please allow me to respond to your concerns.
You are correct that obtaining car spaces is becoming more demanding with each year that passes. The introduction of RET has certainly benefited island communities, with record numbers of passengers travelling each year.
Nonetheless, with car carryings continuing to increase, this has placed additional demand on each and every sailing. In particular, Arran continues to see record growth. Since the introduction of RET, Arran has seen carryings increase by almost 16 per cent, with 205,000 cars shipped during 2017.
In previous years, we did operate an informal waitlist at Brodick. This involved the local manager using a book to record wait-listed passengers for the heavily utilised 08.20 sailing. However, given the implications of the new GDPR legislation, we cannot hold passenger details in such an informal manner. Furthermore, as part of the new Clyde and Hebrides contract, we cannot differentiate by sales channel. In other words, all customers should have equal access – on a first come, first served basis – to our booking inventory. The Brodick book was only accessible to those who contacted the port in person or via phone.
However, we do appreciate that having a waitlist facility would benefit passengers. Indeed, some routes on the CalMac network already allow this. Please rest assured that we are currently exploring all possible options to assess this for the Ardrossan-Brodick route, and are working continuously to try to find solutions that will benefit all our passengers.
Yours, Robbie Drummond, Managing Director, CalMac Ferries Ltd.