Just to praise CAL MAC

runnach

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As others have said, always found CalMac to be very good in many aspects. There is also no doubt subsidies are required, including the RET. However, many islanders are now not happy with the RET, which makes visiting the islands more affordable to tourists and, some are not happy being visited by the hoard's.
 
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Fisherman

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As others have said, always found CalMac to be very good in many aspects. There is also no doubt subsidies are required, including the RET. However, many islanders are now not happy with the RET, which makes visiting the islands more affordable to tourists and, some are not happy being visited by the hourdes.
yes that’s very true runnach,
if you don’t benefit directly from RET I can fully understand why many islanders would feel that way. It would have been sensible to have adopted the policy applied to Tiree limiting the amount of Motorhomes on some of the smaller islands. Barra and other small islands should be considered for such treatment. You are not allowed on Tiree unless you have booked a pitch on the campsite, or one of the 13 Croft’s available. You are greeted by the warden on arrival.

I was on Arran last month and we were the only Motorhome going over, but the ferry was full of cars and commercial vehicles. I don’t think the problem is solely motorhomes. The roads are much busier now since RET.
 
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runnach

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yes that’s very true runnach,
if you don’t benefit directly from RET I can fully understand why many islanders would feel that way. It would have been sensible to have adopted the policy applied to Tiree limiting the amount of Motorhomes on some of the smaller the islands. Barra and other small islands should be considered for such treatment. You are not allowed on Tiree unless you have booked a pitch on the campsite, or one of the 13 Croft’s available. You are greeted by the warden on arrival.

I was on Arran last month and we were the only Motorhome going over, but the ferry was full of cars and commercial vehicles. I don’t think the problem is solely motorhomes. The roads are much busier now since RET.
Some off, the Inner Hebs, like Tiree, do struggle with vehicle numbers, other like Mull, not as much being larger island. Problem with us in MH's or campers, may not travel on a fixed agenda, so I guess a contingency plan should be put in place?
 

davef

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RET has been a mixed blessing for islanders served by CalMac. Being now unable to turn up at the ferry and expect to get on with a vehicle has made many feel trapped. The subsidy does not apply to commercial vehicles - so all goods brought onto the islands are still much more expensive. I believe the thinking of the Scottish government was it would increase tourism which would increase tax returns from the islands so be self funding. No increased infrastructure was put in place to cope with the extra road use - like widening roads or additional car parks - indeed all the council run toilets were promptly closed. Many feel RET should have only have applied to islanders and island hauliers as we pay the same VED as anywhere else but only have access to island roads ( About 100 miles on Arran ) before having to pay CalMac ie Scottish Government to access mainland roads.
The owner of Northlink ferries to Orkney said that if he received all of the various generous subsidies that CalMac get he could run the ferry without having to charge anything to customers. Western ferries crossing to Dunoon is cheaper than CalMac despite receiving no subsidies.
The personnel at CalMac are usually very pleasant and helpful, but I'm not so sure CalMac is a great company....
 

Fisherman

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RET has been a mixed blessing for islanders served by CalMac. Being now unable to turn up at the ferry and expect to get on with a vehicle has made many feel trapped. The subsidy does not apply to commercial vehicles - so all goods brought onto the islands are still much more expensive. I believe the thinking of the Scottish government was it would increase tourism which would increase tax returns from the islands so be self funding. No increased infrastructure was put in place to cope with the extra road use - like widening roads or additional car parks - indeed all the council run toilets were promptly closed. Many feel RET should have only have applied to islanders and island hauliers as we pay the same VED as anywhere else but only have access to island roads ( About 100 miles on Arran ) before having to pay CalMac ie Scottish Government to access mainland roads.
The owner of Northlink ferries to Orkney said that if he received all of the various generous subsidies that CalMac get he could run the ferry without having to charge anything to customers. Western ferries crossing to Dunoon is cheaper than CalMac despite receiving no subsidies.
The personnel at CalMac are usually very pleasant and helpful, but I'm not so sure CalMac is a great company....
I asked western ferries for a quote for my 6m Motorhome and as per above link I was told I had to purchase two 5m tickets plus two adult tickets for my wife. costing me £74.70 return for a 40 minute crossing. To travel to Arran which is a 55 minute crossing including both of us is £47. Though I do agree that western ferries offer a good service at a fair price.

As for crossings to Orkney they should have been covered by RET last year, but this has been delayed. But when RET does come you won’t be travelling for nothing to Orkney.
 
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runnach

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RET has been a mixed blessing for islanders served by CalMac. Being now unable to turn up at the ferry and expect to get on with a vehicle has made many feel trapped. The subsidy does not apply to commercial vehicles - so all goods brought onto the islands are still much more expensive. I believe the thinking of the Scottish government was it would increase tourism which would increase tax returns from the islands so be self funding. No increased infrastructure was put in place to cope with the extra road use - like widening roads or additional car parks - indeed all the council run toilets were promptly closed. Many feel RET should have only have applied to islanders and island hauliers as we pay the same VED as anywhere else but only have access to island roads ( About 100 miles on Arran ) before having to pay CalMac ie Scottish Government to access mainland roads.
The owner of Northlink ferries to Orkney said that if he received all of the various generous subsidies that CalMac get he could run the ferry without having to charge anything to customers. Western ferries crossing to Dunoon is cheaper than CalMac despite receiving no subsidies.
The personnel at CalMac are usually very pleasant and helpful, but I'm not so sure CalMac is a great company....
Sorry, I disagree, RET should benefit us all, as we are funding the RET, not solely islanders, many of whom are in comers.

Commercial vehicles also benefit, up to 6 metre long, IMO, RET should apply to all commercial vehicles, regardless of length.
 

barryd

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Always had good service from CalMac. I once left my mobile on the Arran Ferry in the late 90s. I realised too late after we hit the mainland and had started heading south back to England, I called them from a payphone and left the details of where I was sat. The next day I took the train down to our London office and the phone had been found and couriered overnight and was there before I was. No charge.
 

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