Sleat Transport Forum have welcomed the announcement that CalMac Ferries Ltd has been awarded the £900m contract to run the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services for the next eight years.

However, they have made it clear that they are still in close dialogue with the Company to try and reach a successful conclusion in respect of the operational disruption that has taken place on the Mallaig-Armadale route since the beginning of the summer season on 25th March.

 A spokesperson said: “The Forum has met with senior CalMac officials and we hope to update soon.“ 

The new contracts, one covering the delivery of operations and the other,  harbours, were awarded by the Scottish Government and are effective from 1st October this year.

Calmac’s Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, said: “We will now enter a period called the ‘stand-still’ period.  The stand-still period is a period of 10 days following the notification of an award decision of a contract(s) before the contract is formally signed with the successful supplier. Its purpose is to allow unsuccessful bidders to challenge the decision before the contract(s) is signed.

We are still covered by a confidentiality agreement with Transport Scotland. This means that we cannot provide any detailed information on what is contained within our submission during the stand-still period until we are formally released from the agreement.

However, as soon as this legal period has passed we will be able to share more details. What we can say, at this point in time, is that the key themes included for the Ferry Services and Harbour Operating contracts were integral to our bid submissions.”