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Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service Bid Announcement

Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service Bid Announcement

As you may be aware we have been waiting for some weeks to hear from Transport Scotland who has been awarded the next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) contract.

I am now in a position to update you on what that decision is and I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have won the contract to run ferry services on the west coast of Scotland for the next 8 years.

This announcement means that going forward we are the operator of choice for 2 contracts - the delivery of the Operations contract for Transport Scotland and the delivery of the Harbours contract for CMAL.

We will now enter a period called the 'stand-still' period.  The stand-still period is a period of 10 days following the notification of an award decision of a contract(s), before the contract is formally signed with the successful supplier. Its purpose is to allow unsuccessful bidders to challenge the decision before the contract(s) is signed.

We are still covered by a confidentiality agreement with Transport Scotland. This means that we cannot provide any detailed information on what is contained within our submission during the stand-still period until we are formally released from the agreement.

However, as soon as this legal period has passed we will be able to share more details around the commitments we have made in our winning bid. What we can say, is that the following key themes were integral to our bid submissions.

Ferry Services Contract

Safety at the heart of our operations. We will make this happen by developing our people through learning, innovative tools and systems and levels of empowerment that will support the world class performance necessary for achieving and sustaining a zero accident culture.

Offering enhanced value for money through a variety of activities including:

  • Taking an innovative approach to our maintenance work. We will work in partnership with shipyards to plan and schedule long term maintenance activities.

  • We will work proactively to ensure that we have crew numbers matching closely to passenger demand.

  • We will improve our demand management and provide alongside an attractive, relevant and good value proposition for our retail and catering offers.

Developing sustainable communities and driving economic growth and enabling internationalisation. We will achieve this by maximising opportunities for SME's, supported businesses and social enterprises where possible. We will provide more opportunities for local employment including apprenticeships and working with local agencies to recruit the long term unemployed, young and mature workers.

Being a socially responsible employer, valuing and investing in our people. We will do this by continuing to invest in Officer Cadet and Deck Engine Rating Apprenticeships. We will work towards gold IIP accreditation by the end of the contract lifetime. We are committed to delivering an equality and diversity plan. We will work with local maritime training organisations including UHI and City of Glasgow College to develop a strong maritime training economy in Scotland.

Improving customer service by providing a highly responsive service. We will maintain a high level of engagement with customers and communities to deliver consistent service excellence.

Having an enduring commitment to improving environmental sustainability. We will actively support a sustainable bio diverse marine ecosystem in collaboration with our partners, customers and communities. We will update our ISO 14001 accredited Environmental Management System to new 2015 standards.

Managing change effectively. We recognise that change will happen throughout the length of the contract and we have proven that we can work together with Transport Scotland to implement change and we will continue with this ensuring that service is not affected.

Harbour Operating Contract

Operations that ensure safety of all port users is paramount. We have already improved safety at harbours through a variety of initiatives and we will continue with this work. We will put a harbours team in place to maintain health, safety and compliance at its core.

Offering enhanced value for money.  We will do this by becoming a strategic partner offering unparalleled levels of knowledge based service provision and insight into the current operations.

Working in partnership. We will build on our existing relationship with CMAL and develop joint working based on the principles of BS 11000 Collaborative Business Relationships.

Being a socially responsible employer that values and invests in its staff. We will continue to invest to train and develop our staff. We will work with the University of the Highlands and Islands to develop and deliver harbour qualifications for Port Assistants and Harbour Managers, recognised by the SQA.

Improving port customer satisfaction. We will build on our efforts to date to create an impartial and supportive harbours focus, working collaboratively with all users of CMALs port and harbour facilities to ensure that we support CMALs brand and reputation.

An enduring commitment to improve environmental sustainability. We will actively support a sustainable bio-diverse marine eco-system working in collaboration with our partners, customers and communities. 

Managing change effectively. We will work with CMAL and other stakeholders to ensure that we are all working to the same aims and objectives for the successful operations of harbours.

You have a genuine commitment that we will share fuller information with you as soon as possible following this initial communication.

Thank you 

Martin Dorchester
Managing Director
CalMac Ferries Ltd

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