Corran Ferry information: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  • When did the Scottish Government know that the Corran Ferry would be required to be out of action until at least the end of May 2023?
  • What date has the Scottish Government requested for that the MOD begin temporary support for the Corran Ferry, while the permanent ferry is out of action?
  • What date has the Scottish Government been told is feasible for the MOD to begin temporary support for the Corran Ferry, while the permanent ferry is out of action?
  • Does the Scottish Government know if any modifications are required to vessels to make them safe for passengers, while providing temporary support for the Corran Ferry, while the permanent ferry is out of action?
  • How much is involvement by the MOD to provide temporary support for the Corran Ferry, while the permanent ferry is out of action, expected to cost the Scottish Government.


I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested.

For the purposes of answering your question, the Scottish Government is interpreting ‘the Corran Ferry’ as the Highland-run service between the Ardnamurchan peninsula and Corran, which has recently encompassed both the MV Corran and the MV Maid of Glencoul.

Scottish Government officials were informed by the Highland Council on Friday 7th April that the MV Maid of Glencoul, which had temporarily replaced the MV Corran, had suffered a drive train failure that morning and that the Corran ferry service was therefore off. It was noted on that date that the approximate return of the MV Corran would be 4-6 weeks from that date. On 17th April it was clarified that the timescales for having repairs completed and a ferry back in operation would be 6-8 weeks, in line with the end of May date in your original question. The management of this service is entirely a matter for the local authority.

As local authorities have responsibility for the delivery of ferry services, the implementation of any temporary replacement service for the Corran Ferry is a matter for the Highland Council. It is for the local authority to manage both the repair of the MV Corran/MV Maid of Glencoul but also any mitigations in the meantime, before the Corran Ferry comes back into use. This extends to whether or not the local authority wishes to ask the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for assistance, including through any Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) request.

Scottish Government Directorates and Departments do not submit requests directly to the MoD. Applications are submitted through the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Resilience Division are able to assist with this process but the official request would be made by the local authority. The First Minister’s Office consider whether to support any requests received. The FM in supporting an application underwrites the cost of the MACA.

The Scottish Government understands that the MoD was on site on 20th and 21st April to undertake an assessment of its capability to assist. The Scottish Government further understands that the Council has received a report from the MoD and this is being reviewed by the Council to determine what action, if any, can be taken as a consequence of the MOD’s findings. Scottish Government officials have sought to clarify more detail around potential costs and have been informed that greater detail can be provided once a MACA request is made. Whether that request is made or not is for Highland Council to decide.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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