Community voices sought for west coast ferry board

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West coast residents are being given an exciting opportunity to have their say in how their ferry service is run.

The Ferries Community Board (Clyde and Hebrides) is looking for new members to become voices for people who live in the areas served by ferry operator CalMac.

Members represent communities across the network and act to influence strategic issues such as the building of new vessels, infrastructure, resources and accountability.

Key achievements since the Board was formed in 2017 include the successful lobbying of the Scottish Government to release more funds for a new ticketing system. It has also been instrumental in bringing in service improvements such as the new mobile maintenance team brought in to improve fleet resilience.

Members meet four times a year and have frank discussions with the Transport Minister, Transport Scotland and Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL). They are regularly consulted on national transport strategies and recently gave evidence to the RECC Committee.

Applicants need to be willing to engage with a variety of community groups to seek out their views on ferry services and reflect these views back to CalMac.

Community Board chairman Angus Campbell said: ‘We play an important role in ensuring that local people have their voices heard in all aspects of the ferry contract. Recent work carried out by the board includes investigating improvements to young people’s transport, the new ticketing system Ar Turas, communication and customer relations.

‘Ferries play a vital part in the health of the local economy and the provision of jobs. I would encourage anyone who has interest in having an influence on these issues to apply to join us.’

CalMac’s managing director Robbie Drummond said: ‘The board plays a crucial part in communicating the needs of the communities who rely on CalMac to provide a lifeline service.

‘There are many ways in which Board members can get involved in helping to deliver real improvements to the service. This is an excellent chance for anyone who is interested in how the ferry services operate to play a meaningful role in that process.’

To apply, submit applications before the closing date of June 18. Interviews will be held in July and successful applicants will be notified by email or similar.