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Arran Recovery Group – Notes from Friday 10th July 2020 at 1000 hrs

Arran Recovery Group – Notes from Friday 10th July 2020 at 1000 hrs


Progress on the Communication Plan and in developing the next draft of the recovery plan. Two steps forward and half a step back on the Ferry Capacity. Disappointment that agreement reached on Tuesday with senior members of CalMac and Transport Scotland was not implemented. Subsequent discussions on Friday with AFC and the suppliers gave us some of the capacity back, with a promise of more to follow. Further meeting, urgently sought.

Health and Social Care:

Ruth on well deserved break: No further cases of CV19. Need clarity around what process a business needs to follow in the event of having a  CV19 customer. There is some guidance available for specific areas and that should be issued to business by Sheila. However, there are gaps and these should be closed this week. Also, there is an authorised travel list in Brodick port. It is not clear that the same list exists in Ardrossan. Assumed Ruth’s action with Bill’s support.

Communication: Sheila, Jude, Ruth and Vicki:

Objective is to share goals and the work to date of ARG and get feedback and direction.

Community Group Engagement through ZOOM scheduled for the 22 July. Short presentations by Sheila and Greg followed by response to received questions followed by open questions.ACVS can help community groups access zoom/Microsoft teams technology if required. Anticipating the success of this meeting, larger meetings will be organised using Webinar. Village representation and participation is essential, as their input to and support of the Recovery Plan will make it happen or not. Good start and thanks to the team for work.


Bill, Iain, Alaister, Linda and Tom attended a meeting with senior CalMac people, including the MD and Chris Wilcox of Transport Scotland and NAC CEO. Capacity increases were discussed and agreed that would have significantly improved our position. A lower level of capacity increase was then implemented on Friday.  Not clear why this happened but the main result will be: Fewer locals able to go about their business on the mainland and less tourist income for our struggling businesses. AFC in discussion with the suppliers managed to retrieve some of this lost capacity. Even more positively, a return ticketing process for locals will be implemented starting this week that will significantly increase local travel to the mainland because folk will know when they can get back. Major progress.  An urgent meeting is being sought with the group to fully reestablish our last agreement and press on for our consistent ask of 50% of last year’s capacity from July 15th.

Other Ferry related issues:

1) A report on Impact of Occupancy Numbers as a result of Covid-19 by Knapton Consulting Engineers for Scottish Licenced Trade association shows that is a 100sqm Bar lounge table seated environment, 65% of capacity (from 100 to 65) can be achieved at 1m social distancing, 34% at 2m.  Whilst capacity will differ in differences sized and shaped areas, in Auchrannie’s experience these capacities should be easily realisable in larger areas like those on the ferries and especially in external areas.

2) The Clonaig service needs to be bookable to allow the capacity to be used. People will not make the long drive on the off chance, others will prefer to self isolate in their cars.

3) Clarification needed on CalMac’s Capacity Planning v actual operations. That is; capacity of 100 is either taken up by 100 individuals travelling alone or 20 groups of 5 people. Do CalMac count groups or just the number of people.?


1) Suggested that ARG may need a formal constitution and a template will be circulated via ACVS. It was hoped the group would not be around long enough to need one but let us keep under review.

2) Information on QR codes to be circulated by Andrew.

3) Given the disappointing capacity information, the group suggested the Chairman follow up with our representatives and Government Ministers to find out where we are with an Island Survival Fund. It’s need becomes ever more pressing. Answer back from KG suggests we start with the SINA fund to see if it can match the scale and scope of the problem.

4) Based on the fluidity of Ferry Capacity, I am leaving the Business Plan summary as it was last week. Hopefully we can be more specific on the probable outcomes with known capacity.

5) Look at a positively worded script to inform visitors how the service provider has really thought about how they were going to keep me ( customer) safe, Encourage this on websites and facebook pages. There are examples of a few businesses doing this. Sheila to investigate.



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