Hungry for change

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Another day, another inquiry, with questions being asked to ascertain the ferry facts.

But the real question is whether it will make any difference, is anyone listening?

It is no secret that somewhere between Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) and Transport Scotland there are serious issues with ferry provision and service, not just on Arran but all across Scotland.

One need only look at the procurement of the new vessels, hull 801 and 802 which are years overdue and millions over budget, to see the extent of the problems.

There is hope that the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee’s inquiry will offer some solutions to the problems faced by island communities, but there is also doubt. The committee certainly seem to be asking the ‘right’ questions, delving deep into the heart of the matter, but what really matters, is whether it will ‘hold the Scottish Government, operators and asset holders to account and scrutinise whether their decisions and strategies are in the best interests of service users and the taxpayer’ as it claims is a key objective of the inquiry.

To quote an old idiom from the 14th century and which seems particularly pertinent today, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and island residents are hungry for improvements and a change to the status quo.

Another fruitless consultation will not satiate the appetite of Arran residents’ demands for change.