Notes from the ARG Meeting on the 30th April, 2021

The Problem:

CalMac/CMal does not have the capital or labour to provide their contracted service. In addition and by design, there is a lack of commercial problem-solving and customer service ethos. That is; no measurements of their impact on the communities they service.

The Impact on Arran:

Again, Arran’s Recovery is impacted by a continuing deterioration in the level of service. This is manifest in lost revenue, reduced quality of life, increased cost, depopulation, and inability to attract new residents. Redeployment of existing ferry capacity has meant this year is worse than last year.

What needs to be done:

Immediately: Highlight the issue to senior levels of Government. This has started with Marc Crothall and Frances Pacitti, HIE, and Governmental organisations.

Short term: Need support from NAC to keep the FoA study alive and provide analytical data on non-economic issues. In addition, progress feasibility study into providing additional passenger capacity.

Medium-term: Ministerial-level review of the current situation and the creation of a resilience plan, that is in the public domain, that shows how we resolve/mitigate these issues.


More detail Notes:

Health and Social Care Capacity:

  • We will assume that we have no HSPC capacity constraints unless we are informed of them by Ruth and the team.
  • Meeting on Tuesday to review what the “Pathway” is for folks who have tested positive on the Island. The meeting should identify a) Rules b) Protecting Availability. C) Funding. It is assumed that this is not a critical capacity constraint at this time as there is enough accommodation capacity available in the short term.

Demand Capacity:

  • Business: Auchrannie has identified £83k of losses from the current disruption. If this is increased pro-rata for accommodation providers, it would be approximately £500k loss of business. Total losses from day-trippers and support services would be significantly higher.
  • Accommodation providers asked to try and encourage demand away from the weekend and onto midweek. Likewise, divert freight to the Lochranza route.
  • Community: This lack of ferry availability is also impacting the community’s quality of life and ultimately encouraging people to leave and preventing people from relocating. Anecdotal evidence needs to be quantified with help from CC, Arran CVS, and HSCP with support from NAC.

Ferry :

  • Two meetings with Transport Scotland and CalMac revealed what they cannot do:
  • No extra capacity on the Brodick route between now and 17th
  • No prospect of a Bookable service on the Lochranza route.
  • What CalMac will/may do:
  • “Endeavor” to do clear any backlog on the Lochranza Route on the day.
  • Look at using live Social Media updates to inform potential customers of availability.
  • Provide clarity on the operation of the 80/20, 90/10 rule.
  • A non-bookable service is of very limited value to accommodation providers.
  • Accepting the limitation between now and the 17th of May, there is a need for a strategic contingency plan that either adds capital or labour into the current mix to allow extra capacity for these ongoing issues.
  • Another meeting with CalMac Transport Scotland is being organized for next week.
  • AFC will seek an urgent meeting with the Transport Minister as soon as he is appointed after the forthcoming elections.







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