Blueprint for improvement

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The independent study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research might at first seem like an exercise in futility for some.

Why commission a study into something most people could easily tell CalMac without spending months or even a penny on researching?

The fact is this report holds weight. Much like the Fraser of Allander Institute’s study on the impact of Covid on the Arran economy, this document will now frequently be used as a reference and an accurate assessment on the issues and current state of affairs for the ferry operator.

It is reasonable to assume CalMac would be delighted to have access to new vessels, additional resources and powers to run the service more efficiently. But it would be pure supposition to say this document will help CalMac to prove its case and provide trusted evidence to help motivate other players, such as Transport Scotland and CMAL, to make changes that will improve their ability to provide a reliable and efficient service.

Of course, one cannot read too much into the situation but, undoubtedly, the motivation for commissioning this study is not just for information purposes. With conclusions and recommendations to be published later this year, it may just be that this study becomes the blueprint necessary for improvements.