FERRY operator Caledonian MacBrayne has spent another record sum on maintaining its ageing fleet of ships, it’s been revealed.

Spending on maintenance by CalMac Ferries Ltd (CalMac) has almost doubled in the last six years, according to a statement released along with the company’s annual accounts.

But the firm also says its “determination to provide a reliable ferry service” on the west coast resulted in reliability improvements during the year.

The latest annual report for CalMac’s parent company, David MacBrayne Ltd, and a separate report for its main operating subsidiary, CalMac, were lodged on Thursday, March 28.

In the financial year ending March 2023, CalMac spent £36.5m on maintenance and its annual overhaul programme.

With one third of its vessels now more than 30 years old and operating beyond their life expectancy, the spend has been essential to provide a lifeline service to island communities and is up from £20m in 2017.

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