Caledonian MacBrayne’s 2013 summer timetables and fares come into operation this Friday, March 29.
The difference between the company’s summer and winter fares, which are set by Scottish ministers, means a five-day saver return, bought at Wemyss Bay for a car and one passenger, will cost £32.80 on Thursday and £41.85 on Friday - a contrast which has caused much angst among regular users in the past and will almost certainly do so again this year.
The five-day saver return fare for a single foot passenger is also notably different (£6.80 in winter on Thursday, £8.35 in summer on Friday), although other comparisons are not quite so marked - a ten journey ticket, long acknowledged as delivering substantial savings, will set you back £33.50 (for a foot passenger) if bought at Wemyss Bay on March 28 and £34.50 if purchased at the same port the following day.
The winter-versus-summer contrasts are also evident on the Rhubodach-Colintraive route, where a five day saver ticket for a car and one passenger will cost £14.45 on the last day of the winter timetable and £19.25 on the first day of summer.
Tickets bought on Bute are, as in previous years, charged at the winter rate throughout the summer timetable period, which runs until October 19.