Since October 2007 more than 73,000 ferries have been delayed or cancelled on 29 routes operated by CalMac, according to figures obtained by the 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.
The figures reveal that on the Rothesay to Wemyss Bay route there have been 4174 delayed sailings since October 2007. In 2017/18 there were 585, the highest annual figure in that time period and up from 296 in 2015/16. There have been 3310 cancelled sailings on the route since 2007, with the annual figure rising and falling over the years.
Local issues were highlighted in last week’s Holyrood debate by Highlands and Islands MSP, Donald Cameron, who has received complaints from residents since his election in 2016.
After the debate, he said: “Ferry services are absolutely vital for people who live in the Western Isles 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.”