FERRY operator CalMac Ferries Limited took over the operation of one of Scotland’s shortest ferry services, linking the island of Kerrera to the mainland south of Oban, on Saturday July 1.
The Transport Scotland contract to provide the mostly passenger- only service on the island, which is home to just over 50 people, has been integrated into the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract (CHFS) awarded to CalMac in 2016.
The new service will be largely unchanged from the existing operation with fares and timetables set by Transport Scotland.
This will bring the total number of routes operated by CalMac to 48 and its fleet to 33 vessels. CalMac currently operates more than 136,000 sailings a year across the west coast of Scotland and this route will add around 2,600 sailings per year to that total.
The current service has been operated for 22 years by Kerrera Ferry Ltd, run by local man Duncan McEachen who, along with three crewmates, will now become CalMac employees.
Mr MacEachen is retaining ownership of the ‘Gylen Lady’ so a new vessel has been ordered by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL). This is currently under construction in Shetland.