Passenger numbers on the increase

CalMac ferries at Rothesay Pier.
CalMac ferries at Rothesay Pier.

David MacBrayne, parent company of CalMac Ferries, has reported another year of increasing passenger numbers, breaking the 5.5 million barrier in 2017/18.

CalMac Ferries’ passenger numbers jumped by more than 200,000 over the year to 5.3m.

The group’s other ferry operator, Argyll Ferries, carried nearly 300,000 on the Gourock to Dunoon route over the same period.

Vehicle traffic increased five per cent to 1.4m while freight increased 1.4 per cent to 940,000 metres carried over the same period.

Revenues climbed £15m to £210m, delivering a profit of £4m for the year, down from £5.3m last year.

The drop in profit was put down to increased costs in planned and unplanned vessel maintenance.

“The focus of the past year has been to continue putting customers and communities at the heart of what we do and using our services and influence to actively drive sustainability and economic growth,” said David MacBrayne’s chairman, David McGibbon.

As part of the company’s commitment to the Scottish Government’s ‘Year of Young People’ in 2018 it increased training opportunities with the introduction of new Retail and Port Operations Modern Apprenticeships, bringing total apprentice places up to 23.