Options appraisal on Corran Ferry service carried out

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Highland councillors have agreed the local authority should explore further a range of options to develop a preferred outline business case for the Corran Ferry Service.

At last week’s meeting of Highland Council Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, members discussed the appraisal on the various options which has been carried out to ensure a sustainable and resilient ferry service for the next 20 to 30 years, and to identify options regarding investment, efficiency, reliability of service delivery, and fares.

Members were invited to consider and discuss the service options appraisal carried out by consultant firm, Peter Brett Associates Ltd, on behalf the Highland Council (THC).

As well as considering vessel and related infrastructure requirements, this analysis has set out the parameters to facilitate an informed debate within THC, as well as between THC and Transport Scotland as to the future delivery of the service.

Members agreed the council should undertake further exploration of options in order to develop a preferred outline business case, which would include essential consultation with Transport Scotland, members and other appropriate stakeholders, including potential vessel providers and operators.

There will also be an analysis of the impact of any changes to fares structures and revenue and to users.

Chairman of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: ‘This is a really comprehensive piece of work which gives us a very good basis for dialogue with Transport Scotland, stakeholders and service users.

‘I am pleased that this is now being taken forward and I look forward to the development of a preferred solution.’

Chairman of the Locahaber Area Committee, Councillor Andrew Baxter added: ‘The Corran Ferry is a lifeline service for many Lochaber residents, supporting a remote rural area of the Highlands.

‘I welcome this as a significant step forward in securing a sustainable service for this vital crossing. It acknowledges the ferry’s importance and the need for all future investment options to be considered.’