Scottish Ferries Plan

The Scottish Ferry Services: Ferries Plan (2013 - 2022) sets out the future of ferry services until 2022. It was published on 19 December 2012.

Essential services

Ferries are an essential part of Scotland's transport network. The quality of our ferry services impacts on all of us, affecting both island and mainland communities.

It is in recognition of this that we carried out this first ever comprehensive review of ferry services in Scotland.

The review culminated in producing the Ferries Plan, which sets out strategic guidance for the provision of ferry services in Scotland over the next 10 years.

We are proud that we have taken responsibility and led the way in carrying out the Ferries Review.

There is much that can be achieved in the very short term but there are some proposals that will take a bit longer to deliver.

The proposals presented in this Ferries Plan have the potential to greatly improve ferry services for many of our fragile communities.

Scottish Ferries Review process

The Scottish Ferries Review started in 2009, when data gathering and an initial informal consultation took place.

A further formal consultation on the terms of the draft ferries plan took place between June and September 2010. The 2010 consultation comprised a series of public meetings and a consultation document with appendices.

600 written responses were received. Some of the responses to the 2010 consultation were confidential but the Non-confidential responses can be viewed on the Scottish Government website. In addition, as part of the ferries review process, a number of analytical reports were prepared. An analysis of consultation responses was published along with details of the next steps in the process on 9 March 2011.

A report on the household survey undertaken in 2009 was published on 22 March 2011.


Before finalising our Ferries Plan we were keen to hear views on the conclusions we had reached so published the Draft Ferries Plan for Consultation. In relation to the Draft Ferries Plan consultation we published the following documents;

It was at this stage that the final Ferries Plan was published, on 19 December 2012.

To make our website easier to navigate, we have significantly reduced the number of documents. Transport Scotland has however retained copies of all documents relating to the progress of the Scottish Ferries Review, dating back as far as 2008, including:

  • Public Consultation: Meeting Notes and Presentations
  • Scottish Ferries Review – Paper - Objectives of the Review
  • Scottish Ferries Review: Public Consultation 2010 Questionnaire
  • Ferries Review Steering Group Papers
  • Council (Local Authority) Sub Group Papers
  • Ferries Review Operator Sub Group Papers
  • Stakeholder Group Papers

Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan 2016

Updated plans, outlining the future make-up of the ferry fleet serving the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service network, were published on 31 January 2018.

The Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan (VRDP) gives an overview of how existing, planned and prospective vessels could be deployed across the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service network to deliver the Government’s Ferries Plan commitments and better meet forecast demand. The VRDP informs consideration of new vessel and harbour investments.

Ferry services play a crucial role for the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides, so we want to progressively renew and improve the fleet operating on these routes.

Previous plan

Vessel Replacement and Deployment Plan 2015