CalMac gets 75% of ferry services through during Storm Frank

Flexible timetabling and responsive crewing arrangements saw ferry operator, CalMac, manage to run 75% of its lifeline island services during Storm Frank.

296 sailings were achieved on 30th December, out of a timetabled 374.

Routes affected by the weather included Coll, Tiree and Colonsay which all had sailings moved back to Hogmanay Рalong with Mallaig  to Armadale, which ran 50% of scheduled sailings and the Gigha service which experienced 33% cancellations.

In total the CalMac customer care team managed more than 1,000 calls over the course of the day.

CalMac’s Operations Director, Drew Collier, says: ‘As always safety has to be our number one priority, but we have a flexible approach to getting people to where they need to be and took advantage of out of timetable weather windows where possible to keep people and vital goods moving. Our capacity to communicate effectively with our customers gives us the scope to continue to run a service even when the normal timetable cannot be delivered due to the weather.

‘As part of community we serve know how important it is to get home to family and friends at this time of year and we do all we can to keep our communities connected within the constraints the weather brings. I’d like to thank all our staff for their efforts in providing as full a service as possible over the last couple of very challenging days.’

‘The vast majority of services are running to a normal timetable today [31st December] but the company are urging passenger travelling to arrive early for their sailing and to check the website before setting off.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Well done CalMac, very well done indeed to schedule ferries to take advantage of weather windows in what has been a horendous weather period. No doubt there will be detractors who will complain that the service was interupted, that the service is an inefficient state owned service. But scheduling and getting 75% of lifeline services through is a credit to management and staff. Well done!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    willie December 31, 2015 1:14 pm Reply
    • Aye! Well Done indeed. No New Years Honours List for these guys, just the satisfaction of a job well done, and that’s all that matters.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      Murdoch MacKenzie December 31, 2015 2:50 pm Reply
  • I Love CALMAC,especially the big hairy seamen on the Portavadie to Tarbert !!
    He’s got some buns!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Janice of the glen December 31, 2015 3:45 pm Reply
  • No honours for any merchant seafarer whatsoever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Old man January 2, 2016 4:09 pm Reply
  • I see the Lord of the Isles did not do the LochBoisdale to Mallaig runs today and is now heading down to the Sound of Mull showing Liverpool as AIS destination. The Calmac website says that weather was the cause of the morning cancelation but the afternoon one was cancelled due to vessel redeployment. I hope that they are not being economical with the truth.
    She was at Birkenhead for her dry-docking before Christmas so I wonder if it’s something that needs reworked. I seem to remember the Isle of Lewis having problems with her shafts after being there, maybe more than once.
    It looks like they have sent the vehicles up to Lochmaddy, the Hebridean Isles and the Isle of Arran were doing these runs since the Hebrides went down to Arran and I notice that they have both switched to the Lochmaddy route at the moment.
    Any drivers who were waiting at Mallaig who then had to drive back to Fort William and up to Uig, and now facing a drive down the Uists will not be pleased.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Murdoch MacKenzie January 5, 2016 4:11 pm Reply
  • The Isle of Arran is now heading down to Lochboisdale so she will pick up whoever is left there and later tonight whoever is stuck at Mallaig. They might have asked the drivers that were at Mallaig this morning to standby there and diverted the rest at Fort William.
    I’m not sure this Mallaig – LochBoisdale route is a good idea from a logistics perspective with weather and vessel unreliability issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Murdoch MacKenzie January 5, 2016 4:54 pm Reply
    • Well, I called that wrong. It looks like they cancelled all the Mallaig runs yesterday and the Isle of Arran just picked up the Oban run from South Uist and Barra this morning.
      If they are a vessel down, I don’t understand why the Isle of Lewis was not called out yesterday, maybe the tides were contrary as I see a couple of services have been dropped this week for that reason elsewhere.
      It’s as if keeping to timetables is no longer important to Calmac, they really need to think a bit more about the travelling public and come up with more reliable routes and vessels.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Murdoch MacKenzie January 6, 2016 12:11 pm Reply

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