Scotland’s ferries farce branded ‘sordid mess’ after announcing two vital CalMac vessels may never sail


THE CalMac ferries farce was yesterday branded a “sordid mess” — as it emerged the two vessels may never sail. A report revealed 237 faults on the Glen Sannox and the temporarily-named Hull 802 as of March.

The internal risk documents from last month, obtained by The Herald on Sunday, show highest-level safety concerns on issues ranging from escape routes to fuel and overall stability.

The study at nationalised Ferguson Marine’s Port Glasgow yard — where the ferries are being built — added that if the problems persist, getting the vessels into use by public-owned buyers Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd may be “difficult to achieve”.

Tory transport spokesman Liam Kerr said: “Years late and massively over budget, it now appears CMAL could reject Glen Sannox and Hull 802.

“The people of Scotland deserve a public inquiry into this sordid mess.”

Labour transport chief Neil Bibby said: “If there are further delays or costs, the public will rightly demand ministerial resignations.”

Lib Dem economy spokesman Willie Rennie said: “This will come as worrying news for islanders left without the ferries they need for years already.”

Public auditors have said there was insufficient evidence to explain why the contract went to Ferguson in 2015, despite CMAL flagging risks to ministers.


The two ferries are now five years late and costs have more than doubled to at least £250million.

A Ferguson spokesperson said: “We’re aware of legacy issues and have factored them into the amended plan.”

A CMAL spokesman said: “We’re confident outstanding issues will be rectified.”

The Scottish Government said it is determined to get the ferries “finished and delivered”.

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