Transport Matters

New CalMac Islay ferries will not be built in Scotland – STV news

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Two new ferries for Islay will not be made in Scotland after four shipyards from elsewhere were invited to tender for the contract.

More than 30 organisations expressed an interest in taking on the job and 11 entered submissions that Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) said were “rigorously” assessed.

But only four companies, one from Romania, another from Poland and two in Turkey, reached the final stage of the procurement process.

A decision on which shipyard will win the job will be made before the end of March 2022, CMAL said.

The Islay route is one of the busiest services for freight on the Clyde and Hebrides network, and it was decided to contract two new ferries after discussions with Transport Scotland, ferry operator CalMac and communities on the island.

This week CMAL announced that the new vessels will be built at either Damen Shipyard in Romania, Remontowa Shipbuilding in Poland, or one of the Turkish shipyards Sefine Denizcilik Tersanecilik Turizm or Cemre Marin Endustri.

The procurement process for new ferries has come under scrutiny recently because of issues with two vessels from the publicly-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Inverclyde.

Holyrood’s rural economy and connectivity committee described the process as a “catastrophic failure”.

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RMT attacks SNP MPs for ‘London union bosses’ jibe in ScotRail COP 26 dispute row – The Herald

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A RAIL union has attacked SNP MPs over “inflammatory” language while referring to its “London bosses” in calling on it to suspend a ScotRail strike ballot for action that would disrupt the COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November.

Disruption to travellers has been threatened after the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) announced ScotRail staff were being consulted over potential strike action after being offered no pay increase.

The move comes on top of disruption to passengers in a separate RMT conductors’ dispute over payments for working on days off, which has seen the cancellation of many ScotRail trains on Sundays since March.

The union is balloting on taking action on dates that coincide with the summit, when world leaders will be in Glasgow.

ScotRail, which is run by Dutch state-owned transport firm Abellio, has been urging staff to come together to rebuild Scotland’s railways saying that a rise in industrial action is “completely wrong” for staff and customers as services become more increasingly used with the easing of lockdown.

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New ferry fiasco as three CalMac lifeline ferries are laid up for repairs in two days – The Herald

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A LIFELINE ferry on one of Scotland’s busiest routes was taken out of action on Friday for repair – causing fresh chaos on Scotland’s network.

The Herald can reveal there have been three ferries laid up for repairs in the space of two days.

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A77 through South Ayrshire ‘not fit for purpose’ amid fresh calls for upgrade of network – Daily Record

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resh calls have been made to either ‘upgrade’ or ‘replace’ parts of the road network through Ayrshire.

The appeal follows the tragic deaths of a 78-year-old woman and a 57-year-old lorry driver in two separate incidents last Tuesday on the A714 and the A77.

Now the A77 Action Group is demanding that the Scottish Government bring Ayrshire’s trunk road network up to scratch.

Donald McHarrie, group coordinator, said: “Tuesday brought tragedy with two deaths, and total mayhem, to the A77 and the A714 Girvan to Newton Stewart road.

“The A77 and A714 were both blocked due to serious road traffic accidents. The A714 became blocked after the A77 traffic was diverted along it.

“The southern section of the A77 trunk road closely follows the route it did in 1776, so basically it’s an old droving track.

World famous Cairngorms funicular railway won’t reopen for winter despite £20m public money pledge – The Herald

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Scotland could miss out on £20m for road and rail links – STV news

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Scotland could miss out on £20m to help boost road and rail links because of the “disappointing” response from Holyrood ministers to a nationwide transport review, it has been claimed.

Scotland Office minister David Duguid hit out at the “lack of engagement” from Nicola Sturgeon’s government to the Union Connectivity Review (UCR).

The review, being led by Sir Peter Hendy – the current chairman of Network Rail and former commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) – will look at transport infrastructure across the UK, considering where future spending could be targeted.

At the end of June, the UK Government promised £100m would be invested across England to improve the quality of local roads – helping local economies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.


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