Islands Connectivity Plan

Overview

The Islands Connectivity Plan (ICP) replaces the Ferries Plan but is wider in scope, taking account of ferry services, aviation and fixed links, as well as onward and connecting travel. It is being developed within the context of the National Transport Strategy and the National Islands Plan and is being informed by the outcomes of the Strategic Transport Projects Review. Consultation and engagement are central to its development.

The Islands Connectivity Plan comprises an overarching Strategic Approach paper and a number of delivery plans. Work on the ICP is now well underway, with  publication of the draft Strategic Approach and the updated Vessels and Ports Plan for public consultation. Work on further elements of the ICP will follow, with a view to further engagement, consultation and publications in due course.

Strategic Approach

The Strategic Approach paper proposes our overall Strategic Approach to island transport connectivity including ferries, aviation, fixed links and, especially, addressing the strategic challenges facing the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services and Northern Isles Ferry Services.

Vessels and Ports Plan

The updated Vessels and Ports Plan provides detail on the Scottish Government’s objectives for the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services and Northern Isles Ferry Services which the Scottish Government is directly responsible for.

This is an updated version of the draft Plan published at the end of 2022 and reflects the feedback provided by stakeholders following the publication of the initial draft of the Plan in December 2022. It provides a long-term plan, to 2045, for the vessel and port investment considered necessary to address the key challenges of reliability and resilience.

Consultation

You can access copies of the documents above and also the consultation.

The responses received to this consultation will inform the Islands Connectivity Plan including the final versions of these two documents.

Impact Assessments

In parallel, an Islands Communities Impact Assessment, a Business Regulatory Impact Assessment, an Equality Impact Assessment, a Strategic Environmental Assessment and a Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment are being carried out to inform the development of the overall Islands Connectivity Plan. This process aims to ensure that the impacts on island communities and businesses, groups with protected characteristics and environment are captured and considered, including reducing inequalities, in the development of policies and plans detailed in the draft Islands Connectivity Plan.

Public Engagement

The Plan is based on feedback from communities and sets an overall strategic direction for future island transport connectivity. Alongside the public consultation now underway, we are holding a series of public events on islands and peninsulas served by ferry services.

Read the next section to learn about our stakeholder engagement.

Stakeholder engagement

We are undertaking engagement sessions to inform the development of the Islands Connectivity Plan, in particular, the two documents recently published for public consultation: the ICP Strategic Approach and the updated Vessels and Ports Plan.

These sessions build on a number of visits the team have already made while joining the Scottish Government Islands Team and the next Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract project team on their engagement visits across a number of islands and peninsulas.

The public consultation on both documents is live until Friday 3 May and is being supported by a number of public events for Transport Scotland officials to hear from people directly. This includes some islands that have not had as many such visits in the past as others.

We invite communities and anyone with interest to be a part of shaping the future of island and peninsula transport connectivity. So we can plan for numbers at each event, and to ensure a focused and interactive discussion registration in advance will be required. However there will also be opportunity at each location for people to drop-in and speak to the team without needing to book in advance.

Engagement programme

The outline engagement programme is set out below. We are still finalising details and will keep this page updated and use social and local media to keep people informed.

Structured Workshop (1 hour and 30 minutes)

The workshop will feature small group discussions, each led by a facilitator from Transport Scotland. Participants will engage in 3 rounds of discussions, exploring key themes related to the Islands Connectivity Plan Strategic Approach and Vessels and Ports Plan.

Date Time Location Booking details
Tuesday 27 February 3:30pm to 5pm Harris - Tarbert Community Hall Book event in Harris
Wednesday 28 February 1:30pm to 3pm Raasay - Raasay Community Hall Book event in Raasay
Monday 4 March 1:30pm to 3:30pm Shetland - Lerwick - Clickimin Leisure Complex Book afternoon event in Lerwick
Monday 4 March 5:30pm to 7pm Shetland - Lerwick - Clickimin Leisure Complex Book evening event in Lerwick
Tuesday 5 March 4:30pm to 6pm Shetland - Sumburgh - Sumburgh Hotel Book event in Sumburgh
Wednesday 6 March TBC Shetland - Yell TBC
Thursday 7 March 3:30pm to 5pm Shetland - Whalsay - Symbister Public Hall Book event in Whalsay
Friday 8 March 10:30am to 12pm Shetland - Brae - Brae Hall Book event in Brae
Tuesday 12 March 5:30pm to 7pm Campbeltown - SKDT Hall Book event in Campbeltown
Wednesday 13 March 1pm to 2:15pm Gigha - Gigha Village Hall Book event in Gigha
Wednesday 13 March 6pm to 7:15pm Tarbert - Tarbert Village Hall Book event in Tarbert
Tuesday 26 March 3:30pm to 5pm Mull - Tobermory - AROS Hall, PA75 6NU Book event in Tobermory, Mull
Wednesday 27 March 4:30pm to 6pm

Mull - Fionnphort - Creich Hall, Fionnphort, PA66 6BP

Book event in Fionnphort, Mull
Wednesday 27 March 1pm to 2:30pm

Iona - Iona Village Hall, PA76 6SJ

Book event in Iona
Thursday 28 March TBC Lismore TBC
Friday 29 March TBC Kerrera TBC
Week beginning 15 April TBC Coll and Barra TBC
Week beginning 22 April TBC Dunoon and Kilcreggan TBC
Week beginning 29 April TBC Small Isles TBC
Week beginning 29 April TBC Orkney TBC

Drop-in Session (30 minutes)

A drop-in session, providing an informal setting for community members to share their feedback and contributions on the Islands Connectivity Plan and the next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract will be available for 30 minutes following the Structured Workshop.

Date Time Location Booking details
Tuesday 27 February 5pm to 6pm Harris - Tarbert Community Hall No booking required
Wednesday 28 February 3pm to 3:30pm and 6pm to 7pm Raasay - Raasay Community Hall No booking required
Monday 4 March 3pm to 3:30pm Shetland - Lerwick - Clickimin Leisure Complex No booking required
Monday 4 March 7:30pm to 8pm Shetland - Lerwick - Clickimin Leisure Complex No booking required
Tuesday 5 March 6pm to 6:30pm Shetland - Sumburgh - Sumburgh Hotel No booking required
Wednesday 6 March TBC TBC TBC
Thursday 7 March 5pm to 5:30pm Shetland - Whalsay - Symbister Public Hall No booking required
Friday 8 March 12pm to 12:30pm Shetland - Brae - Brae Hall No booking required
Tuesday 12 March 7pm to 7:30pm

Campbeltown - SKDT Hall

No booking required
Wednesday 13 March 2:15pm to 2:45pm

Gigha - Gigha Village Hall

No booking required
Wednesday 13 March 7:15pm to 7:45pm

Tarbert - Tarbert Village Hall

No booking required
Week beginning 25 March TBC Iona and Mull TBC
Tuesday 26 March 5pm to 5:30pm

Mull - Tobermory - AROS Hall, PA75 6NU

No booking required
Wednesday 27 March 6pm to 6:30pm

Mull - Fionnphort - Creich Hall, Fionnphort, PA66 6BP

No booking required
Wednesday 27 March 2:30pm to 3pm

Iona - Iona Village Hall, PA76 6SJ

No booking required
Thursday 28 March TBC Lismore TBC
Friday 29 March TBC Kerrera TBC
Week beginning 15 April TBC Coll and Barra TBC
Week beginning 22 April TBC Dunoon and Kilcreggan TBC
Week beginning 29 April TBC Small Isles TBC
Week beginning 29 April TBC Orkney TBC