Expert Ferry Group

The Scottish Ferries Plan 2013 - 2022, published in December 2012, laid out the Scottish Government's desire to have ongoing consultation for all ferry-related issues.

The plan stated that we would consider how best to involve key transport professionals, academics and operators of ferry services as we deliver wider consultation mechanisms. As part of our arrangements for wider consultation, we have set up the Expert Ferry Group.

The group is intended to:

  • provide Scottish Ministers with considered advice about key ferries related issues in Scotland
  • provide advice on strategic issues highlighted by local Ferry Users Groups or Committees
  • provide advice to Scottish Ministers on the requirement for wider consultation and on the progress made to implement the Ferries Plan proposals


  • Professor Alf Baird – Edinburgh Napier University: Professor of Maritime Business in the Transport Research Institute
  • Michael Craigie – ZetTrans: Senior Official
  • Professor Iain Docherty – University of Glasgow: Professor of Public Policy and Governance
  • Kevin Hobbs – Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd
  • Brian Fulton – Calmac: Operations Director
  • Gordon MacLennan – Strathclyde Partnership for Transport: Chief Executive
  • Roy Pedersen – Author and consultant
  • Guy Platten – UK Chamber of Shipping: Chief Executive
  • Ranald Robertson – HITRANS: Director
  • Gordon Ross – Western Ferries: Commercial Ferry operator

Our remit

  1. The Expert Group will meet up to three times per year and will not be expected to work outside of these meetings, as such the work of the Group will be limited to strategic issues only. The Expert Ferry Group will not be expected to consider local ferry issues.
  2. The detailed work of the Expert Ferry Group will be identified via the Minister for Transport and the Islands. The work will be identified either directly by the Minister, or via the local Ferry User Groups and Ferry Committees. The Minister will agree the agenda for each meeting of the Group.
  3. In addition to work identified by the Minister, the Group will be able to monitor the implementation of the Ferries Plan, providing strategic advice to the Minister. The group will also have scope to write to the Minister recommending other issues that it wishes to consider. Identifying such issues will be a standard agenda item for the Expert Ferry Group.
  4. Transport Scotland (Ferries Unit) will provide secretariat support to the Expert Ferry Group. Travel and accommodation expenses will be met by the Scottish Government, in line with the Scottish Government’s travel and subsistence rules.
  5. The Expert Ferry Group will be chaired by a senior Transport Scotland official. Agendas and minutes of meetings will be published on the Transport Scotland website. Any advice provided to Scottish Ministers by the Group and papers produced by Group members for discussion will not normally be published, to allow frank and open discussions on the future of the ferries sector.

Meeting papers

15 November 2018

4 December 2017

16 May 2017

6 October 2016

10 March 2016


21 October 2015


17 March 2015

05 November 2014

14 May 2014

29 October 2013

30 January 2014