Ferry Services

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered at on 20 March 2003.

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Photo of George Lyon George Lyon Liberal Democrat

Question S1W-34704

To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to take forward its proposals to tender the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service, currently operated by Caledonian MacBrayne.

Photo of Lewis Macdonald Lewis Macdonald Labour

I have today published, for consultation, the draft Invitation to Tender (ITT) which includes the service specification for the Gourock to Dunoon ferry service currently operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. This sets out our proposals for tendering. I have also published an accompanying consultation document Proposals for Tendering Gourock to Dunoon Ferry Services which explains the principles set out in the service specification and seeks views on options.

As for the draft Invitation to Tender in respect of the main Clyde and Hebrides contract, at the heart of these proposals is the Executive’s commitment to protecting existing levels of fares and service whilst complying with EU rules.

The service specification is in line with the proposals announced on 29 January which keep open the possibility of a vehicle service. The consultation period will close on 30 May 2003. I hope to see responses from all those with an interest.

In the meantime, I will be publishing a Prior Information Notice in the Official Journal of the European Commission. This is not part of the formal tendering process but will alert operators to proposals and ensure that they can take part in the consultative process too. I will consider responses to the consultation in making decisions about the final Invitation to Tender.

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