To find this blog again, just GOOGLE two words: CALMAC ENIGMA.

Arran Ferry Blog

The latest page can be studied…

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Previous news and earlier summary posts appear below…

Earlier Updates

Here at Scotslion and Argyll Group, we dispute the recent assertion by CalMac MD Robbie Drummond when he writes to The Herald (here)…

Mr Drummond is FAILING badly.

There ARE suitable ferries. Mr Drummond has not been looking hard enough. In any event, it takes just TWO years to build a new ferry, so in SIX years of messing about, Mr Drummond’s company could have built THREE new ferries. In fact, his government-owned company should have a rolling programme of newbuild ferries to replace the ancient 30 ship fleet.

Specifically for Arran, there should be FOUR medium-sized newbuilds.

Our view, based on the fact our directors have built and operated ferries (here), is that CalMac/CMAL should charter or buy the MV Pentalina and deploy this ship immediately on the Arran route. Test the design to see how it performs for Arran islanders and visitors. The Pentland Firth, where this ferry has operated for over 10 years is one of the most hostile stretches of water in the world. This ship has proven itself there. Our team here at Scotslion Ltd., and Argyll Group Private Equity still prefer mono-hull ships such as modern, updated versions of MV Hebridean isles.

However, MV Pentalina is available right now, in March 2020 and we won’t even charge Robbie Drummond a shipbroker finder fee…

A trial (beta) test of this ferry on the Arran route will help establish whether this class of ferry works well. It will certainly reverse the deteriorating service from the 37 year old and 27 year old vessels currently deployed between Ardrossan and Brodick. Mechanical breakdowns are becoming more common within the CalMac/CMAL fleet. The rusting hulk of MV Glen Sannox IV will be subject of legal wrangling for years after the keel was laid in 2017. Even the best guess of the administrators of the bankrupt Ferguson shipyard along with the Scottish Government as new owners is a 2022 delivery.

CMAL should be building at least TWO new ships each and every year to catch up with decades of underinvestment

The situation on Arran with one of the biggest employers laying of staff because of the double blow that 18 months of CalMac mess and 1 month of Coronavirus requires to be remedied NOW.

Letting businesses on Arran close and many islanders losing their jobs is no way to run the west coast of Scotland’s busiest ferry route.

It can only be hoped that the Coronavirus will have run its terrible course during the next 9 months of 2020. The NHS could be doing with the ONE BILLION pound public subsidy gifted to CalMac and £200 million wasted by their sister company CMAL on the rusting hulks at the bankrupted Fergusons shipyard.

However, there ARE actions that can and should be taken NOW.

Specifically charter/purchase MV Pentalina for the Arran route to cover for the mechanically dubious MV Isle of Arran + MV Caledonian Isles.

We are reassured that one of our directors, Russ McLean is recovering from his TBI sufficiently well to be working on a petition that should help encourage the Scottish Government to build four medium-sized ferries to be on service for Arran by 2022 regardless of whether MV Glen Sannox IV has managed to be salvaged from the deteriorated condition and recommendation by the former owners that that vessel be scrapped.

The link to the petition shall appear here once it has been approved by the Scottish Government petitions processors.

Please check back soon for more news

Just Google “CalMac Enigma”

Earlier Update

Letters to The Herald – Reply by Robbie Drummond, MD of CalMac. Mr Drummond is WRONG, there ARE other ships available. His company has wasted six years looking when he can charter/buy a UK classed vessel eminently suitable for the Arran ferry service. More news on that soon (a report will appear above this segment)…

Sorry Mr Drummond, but this excuse is risible and utterly wrong…

Full letter from Mr Drummond…

Click Here

Earlier Update

From The Herald Letters page…

Letters to The Herald: full extract…

Click Here

For regular readers, please be advised that our group of companies are currently moving the main office from Noss Head Lighthouse Station to Abbey Studios, 280 High Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JF. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Former Group Company Office HQ

Scotslion + Argyll Group + Tayport Group

Earlier Updates

Given the announcement of the biggest employer on the island to drastically reduce their workforce, the failings of the current lifeline ferry service require hard work to resolve the current problems. We will shortly be arranging a petition…

More details on this website soon.

Please check back soon for more news

Just Google “CalMac Enigma”

Earlier Updates

Due to events aboard the CMAL Ltd owned and CalMac Ferries Ltd operated MV Caledonian Isles on 19th April 2019, the narrative on this website is now very circumspect.

This is because the matter of that day may end up before the court and inappropriate publication of details may cause an accidental Contempt of Court.

The temporary editor and admin., of this website trust that our readers and also the team at the newbuild and renovation projects creating jobs on Arran will understand. The kind wishes from islanders sent to the director who sustained the TBI (traumatic brain injury) aboard the ferry have been kind and helped a great deal. Our apologies for any inconvenience. The subject of Arran’s ferry service arouses great passion and debate.

Our direction in temporarily keeping this web blog going is to help remedy the current Arran ferry problems. Please feel free to get in touch. Details at the foot of this page.

Postscript: On 18th March 2020 surgery on the director concerned required to be postponed due to elective surgical issues being cancelled as a result of the Coronavirus.

Earlier Updates

MV Caledonian Isles Approaching Brodick Pier: 19th April 2019

Visitors to this website are recommended to check out the new Arran Ferry Action Group…

Also, if you would like to watch the inaugural public meeting of the Arran Ferry Action Group at Brodick Hall on 9th April 2019, here it is…

Arran Ferry Action Group Public Meeting: 9th April 2019

Text messages will still be answered: 0757 276 8795

Thank you for the get-well messages. Website blogger Russ McLean is still off ill following the accident, but here at the mainland office, we are he is able to return soon.

Alastair Stuart, Scotslion Ltd., 280 High Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JF.