Corran Ferry, electric proposal

4 Jul 2023

Article appeared in Highland press, May 2023

There was only one Corran proposal on the table at the Highland Council meeting on the 11th May 2023, and all us local Cllrs supported it. It was for the maximum £50 million bid to the Westminster Levelling Up Fund. That would get us a single ferry and the shore infrastructure. We reiterated that a 2nd ferry should follow within five years, a survey needs to be done of locals, and again called for The Transport Minister, Kevin Stewart, to engage with us to discuss a tunnel or bridge.

It might be that we do not win the bid, so Council officials are exploring alternative funding. The Highland Council has £1.1 billion of borrowing already and a total capital budget of £55 million though, so we need central Government to resolve this.

As I’ve said all along, there are so many things that are wrong here, the first being, why wasn’t this resolved over a decade ago. Why will the Transport Minister not engage with us, despite everyone asking, and how can it possibly be so expensive and take so long to scope out then build this ferry and shore based infrastructure. Do we have confidence with CalMac to build it on time and within budget, and will an electric ferry work technically?

The Faroe Isles have a network of tunnels connecting their islands, and there are many beautiful bridges in the world. For a lot less than 10% of the cost of the new Forth Road Bridge or Edinburgh trams, we could have our fixed link. There has been no infrastructure spend on the West Coast of Scotland of consequence in decades, it has all been concentrated in the Central Belt. Surely its our turn.

Hopefully the MV Corran will be back up and running soon. I have emailed the Chief Executive of the Highland Council and asked for a business and domestic Council tax rebate for the time the ferries were not working.

There has been an awful inconvenience and cost to those on the peninsulas. I am extremely sorry on behalf of all of us at the Council.


Angus MacDonald
Highlands Liberal Democrat Councillor and Westminster Candidate

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