Public Consultation for the next Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services Contract (CHFS3)

Ministerial foreword

Transport Minister, Fiona Hyslop MSP

I am pleased to present this public consultation on the new Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services Contract (CHFS3).

Scottish Ministers’ preferred route for procurement of the next CHFS contract is a direct award via a Teckal arrangement, (which allows in certain circumstances for a contract to be directly awarded to an in house operator, without having to go through a competitive bidding process). This would be subject to a satisfactory due diligence exercise, with a final decision expected next summer.

In terms of value and importance to our island communities, this is one of the most significant contracts this Government will enter into, and as such it is vital that communities have the opportunity to contribute and help us shape the future of these vital ferry services.

This public consultation will provide an opportunity for those who have asked for change, including improved resilience; greater transparency; better communications; responsiveness; flexibility in service; and more certainty for communities and service-users to directly contribute to the contract development process.

Throughout this process we will continue to engage with our communities and stakeholders to inform the development of the contract to help shape the future of these services.

The public consultation will be available for 12 weeks from 15 December 2023 to 8 March 2024.

Fiona Hyslop, MSP
Minister for Transport

Responding to this consultation

This consultation will be open for a period of 12 weeks from 15 December 2023 to 8 March 2024 and we invite you to share your views during this time to actively shape the forward thinking of the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services Contract.

Respond online

You can respond to this consultation online using our consultation hub, Citizen Space.

Please note that this is a public consultation, and all responses will be made publicly available, although personal details will be kept confidential. Should you wish for your comments not to be made publicly available, please select the appropriate box at the end of the consultation.

Respond to the consultation online


Other ways to respond

If you are unable to respond using the Citizen Space hub, you can send your response by email or post:

By email

Please download and complete the Survey Questions and the Respondent Information Form below and email them to

By post

Please download and complete the Survey Questions and the Respondent Information Form below and post your completed forms to:

CHFS3 Consultation
Transport Scotland
George House
2nd Floor
36 North Hanover Street
Glasgow G1 2AD

Consultation Statement

We invite you to share your views during this time to actively shape the forward thinking of the new CHFS3 contract.

Assessing impact

We are committed to assessing the impact of the new CHFS3 contract on ferry-dependent communities and other stakeholder groups across Scotland.

This consultation will support development of the following impact assessments:

  • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)
  • Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA)
  • Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA)
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA).

We will publish these impact assessments on our website. We would like your views on these. Views can be provided to us by email to

For example, your views will inform us about the likely impact of our policy on advancing equality, eliminating discrimination and fostering good relations for people who share certain protected characteristics.

We will take a robust evidence-based approach to the development of our impact assessments and will work in close consultation with key stakeholders and representatives of groups that are likely to be impacted

Next steps in the process

In addition to the CHFS3 consultation, Transport Scotland’s Islands Connectivity Plan (ICP) will shortly consult on the draft ICP Strategic Paper which sets out a proposed vision and priorities for the delivery of ferry services in Scotland, and the Long-Term Plan for Vessels and Ports which sets out plans and proposals for a programme of investments in the CHFS and NIFS networks until 2045, and proposes how to prioritise decisions during a period of funding constraints and when difficult choices between projects are expected to be needed. A further update on this consultation will be provided by Transport Scotland in the coming weeks.

Once the CHFS3 consultation period has ended, responses will be reviewed by a specialist independent analysis team and a recommendations report will be provided to Transport Scotland to consider when finalising the terms of the CHFS3 contract.

We value your input and look forward to hearing your views on how we can improve our Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this important process.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted please send them directly to

Published Date 15 Dec 2023 Status