Ferry fares price increases: FOI release

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

Information requested

I would like to know what regard your organisation has given to the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 when determining increased price levels of ferry tickets, in particular for Cumbrae.

Any relevant evidence the organisation considered before setting ticket prices would be in scope of this FOI request.


The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 was not taken into consideration when setting ferry fares policy on Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) routes, including Largs-Cumbrae, as this Act came into being after the Scottish Government’s policy of Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) was introduced.

Island Communities Impact Assessments (a key provision within the Act) came into force on 20 December 2020. As the introduction of RET pre-dated this, an assessment is not required.

Annual fares increases are based on May’s inflation (Consumer Price Index – CPI) rate, as stipulated in the current CHFScontract which began in 2016. Scottish Ministers did however freeze fares in 2023/24 rather than applying the contractual 9.1% increase in order to support island communities through Covid recovery and cost of living pressures.

With regards to season ticket products, these were planned for removal on the introduction of RET to Cumbrae in 2015, but their removal has been delayed until recently. RET was always intended to create a fairer and consistent pricing system across the CHFS network.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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