As part of their franchise bid to run our ferry service, CalMac established a Community Board to "ensure that we hear local representation and understand the views of those people that rely on the service". How well do you think they are representing our local views? Have you been consulted? This is the same body that failed to mention Arran's predicament during their participation in the RECC inquiry into ferry procurement.
Yesterday, we obtained a copy of the CCB's Covid Transition Plan, not from CalMac, not from the IoAFC, but from a friendly source off-island. Nobody else appears to have received a copy. Since the document is supposed to represent the views of our community we think you have the right to see it. We are extremely concerned that only the partisan views of undisclosed bodies may have been taken into account, rather than attempt any genuine community input.
For example, if you look at the table on Page 6, you may be surprised to read that the proposed inadequate Brodick—Ardrossan service is "welcomed" by the our community. This hardly matches the views being expressed by an increasing number of Arran's residents and businesses.
The lack of transparency in this publication may astonish you. The crew for the north end service have apparently disappeared! Where?
On Page 14 you will read "Community consultation now complete on timetables". Did you ask for this?
We urge you to make your views known to CalMac, either directly or via the Arran Ferry Action Group. You may also wish to express your concerns to your elected representatives. Please do not take out your frustration on the frontline CalMac staff and crew, whose hands are tied. Put yourself in their position and imagine how you would feel if people shouted at you all day because you were carrying out your management instructions.
The current state of our lifeline ferry service shows it is not fit for purpose in terms of reliability, resilience and infrastructure. The Arran Ferry Action Group is a new and fully representative lobbying group, set up to represent Arran interests in demanding service improvements and accountability in future investment decisions.