CalMac ferries repair bill 'surpassed £100m in last five years'

The cost of vessel repairs for 2022/2023 was £26.5m alone, new figures revealed.

The repair bill for CalMac’s fleet has passed £100m in the last five years, new figures show.

A freedom of information request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed the cost of repairs came in at £106,562,000 in total.

The bill was was £26.5m for 2022/23 alone.

The ferries have faced rising maintenance bills as the fleet grows older.

Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie said: “These figures expose the toll that a decade of poor planning by SNP ministers has had on our creaking ferry fleet.

“It’s clear that many vessels are past their best but Scottish Government failures mean that there is no alternative to patching them up and hoping for the best.

Close up of the red funnel of a CalMac ferry
The cost of vessel repairs was £26.5m for 2022/23 alone

“There should be a pipeline of new boats ready to launch to take up the slack.

“Sadly we are now on our sixth transport minister since work on the two ferries at Ferguson Marine began.”

It comes after government minister Neil Gray admitted the second ferry being built at Ferguson Marine is so over budget it would be cheaper to build a brand new vessel.

The wellbeing, economy, fair work and energy secretary said that the unnamed 802 ship has now been deemed “poor value for money” after a due diligence assessment was carried out.

The 801 Glen Sannox and the currently unnamed hull 802 have seen multiple delays and are now three times over their original budget.

Meanwhile, CMAL has revealed the names of two new vessels which will serve Islay and Jura.

CMAL, which is separate from CalMac, announced they will be called the Isle of Islay and Loch Indaal following a public vote.

The vessels will be focused on freight and are being built at Cemre shipyard in Turkey, with delivery expected in 2024 and 2025.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

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