'Passenger numbers reduced on delayed CalMac ferries' was the headline this week. 

The delayed CalMac ferries being built at the Ferguson Marine shipyard will have reduced passenger capacity due to safety certification measures.

The Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa were originally planned to have a maximum carrying capacity of 1,000 passengers, but this has been reduced to 852 passengers to accommodate required stairwells and passageways.

The cost of the vessels has also risen further, to £360m, according to the shipyard's chief executive. The ferries will still maintain their vehicle-carrying capacity.

The news for Ardrossan and Brodick ports hasn’t been very good recently.

A few weeks ago Transport Scotland put Ardrossan Harbour works on hold. Last week the ferry costs rose again and this week the capacity levels were cut on the ferries. The capacity impact will effect busy periods income which will be much needed and the recovery of service after disruption. 

Due to the ongoing reliability issues the visitor numbers to Arran continue to decline. This means the ferry operator has higher overheads and buses on Arran will require more subsidy or face reducing services due to less passenger income.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: MV Caledonian Isles

This at a time bus use across the country continues to be in decline together with increasing costs of fuel, wages and the buses themselves. Then there is the huge decline in coach driver numbers as people don’t see it as a profession anymore or indeed are more attracted to haulage.

I think the Scottish Government have definitely committed to seeing the two new Arran ferries get in the water eventually but the associated land works to accommodate the ferries at Ardrossan unfortunately leads to ongoing uncertainty of reliability on the route at this time. 

We just wonder when this island community will get a break from the bad news stories.