Survey – do you want a new ferry ticketing system?

Recently we wrote to Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth and Islands Minister Mairi Gougeon, urging them to ensure that as is required by the Islands Act, an Island Community Impact Assessment (ICIA) is used to examine CalMac’s booking system. The current first-come-first-served system has unfairness built into it. Island residents cannot plan every shopping trip, family visit, business trip, livestock movement, hospital appointment or funeral weeks in advance.
Holiday makers – who typically plan weeks or months ahead – are allocated car deck space ahead of everyone else. It’s simply inequitable, and precisely the kind of prejudicial policy that the Islands Act was designed to prevent.
CalMac are planning to introduce a new ticketing system this year, but no ICIA has been carried out as is required by the law. CalMac maintain that they are not required to undertake an ICIA. We haven’t had a reply from either Minister yet, but in the meantime we have been investigating alternative systems that could be more equitable.
We think we’ve found an excellent example of a fair and ‘island-proofed’ ticketing system on the Danish island of Samso. Like Mull, Samso has a population of around 3,500. Like Mull, it is a popular tourist destination, and like Mull there is competition for car spaces between locals and visitors during the summer months. But unlike Mull, they have a different method of allocating car deck space... more in the printed issue

For the Mull & Iona Ferry Committee survey (closing date 8th May), click here