Since October 2007 over 73,000 Scottish ferry sailings have been delayed or cancelled on 29 routes operated by CalMac, according to figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.
A Freedom of Information response has shown that sailings on these routes were delayed 34,124 times and cancelled 39,314 times.
That means, in the space of 12 years, the equivalent to around 117 sailings a week have been delayed or cancelled.
In Oban, there have been 10,546 cancelled or delayed ferry sailings since 2007. The worst affected route was the Oban to Craignure service which saw 4,235 cancelled or delayed sailings since 2007.
On the Rothesay to Wemyss Bay route, there have been 7,484 cancelled or delayed ferry sailings since 2007, and an additional 1,039 cancelled or delayed ferry sailings between Rothesay and Gourock in the 2015/16 year.
There have been thousands of cancellations and delays across other parts of Argyll and Bute since 2007 too. Some of the other affected services include, the Portavadie to Tarbert route which has seen 3,363 cancellations or delays, and the Tayinloan to Gigha route which has seen 3,143 cancellations or delays.
On the Stornoway to Ullapool route, there were 3,452 cancelled or delayed sailings since 2007, with a record number of 361 delays in the most recent year.
These findings came as part of a debate led by the Scottish Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament this week to highlight the chaotic state of Scotland’s ferry network under the SNP which has seen significant decline over the last 12 years.
Local issues were highlighted in the debate by Highlands and Islands MSP, Donald Cameron, who has received numerous complaints from residents across the Highlands and Islands Region since his election over two years ago.
Donald Cameron MSP said following the debate:
“Under the SNP Government, local people across the Highlands and Islands have faced a decade of insufficient capacity, delays, and cancellations to vital ferry services.
Ferry services are absolutely vital for people who live in the region and are a lifeline service for our residents, not just to connect the islands with Scotland’s mainland, but also to encourage tourism and boost the local economy.
We’ve known since 2010 that Calmac have needed to order one ferry every year in order to meet current passenger demands, and with an increasingly ageing ferry fleet, we are sleepwalking towards a major ferry crisis.
The SNP need to explain to local residents why they have failed so abjectly to get to grips with this problem.”