Transport Scotland data for Corran Narrows ferry or fixed link options: FOI release

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

Information requested

Data to help inform a debate around whether a replacement ferry or a fixed link (bridge or tunnel) would provide a cheaper or more economical means of crossing the Corran Narrows.


The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise commissioned an outline feasibility study for building a fixed link across the Corran Narrows. It compares the costs and benefits of various fixed link solutions and new ferry options. This was produced by the consultancy company Stantec and is available on the HITRANS website at, with a copy attached to this email for your convenience. While the report concentrates in more detail on fixed link options, the ferry options first appear in section 6 of the report and are presented as reference case options. Sections 6 and 7.1 appear most relevant to your debate.

While that report may be sufficient to inform your debate, you also asked for certain specific data. On Corran Narrows ferry traffic, the service carried an estimated 598,000 passengers (this figure is an estimate because passengers are carried without charge, so there is no associated ticket data), 265,489 cars and 11.007 commercial vehicles or buses in 2019, the last year before the coronavirus pandemic affected demand. This data is published on the Transport Scotland website in a spreadsheet providing the reference tables for the water transport chapter (9) of Scottish Transport Statistics 2022. The spreadsheet is attached to this email. Annual Corran Narrows patronage data for 1992 to 2021 can be found on tabs 9.16a, 9.16b and 9.16c of the spreadsheet.

Estimates applicable to your questions on the cost of fixed link infrastructure appear in the above Stantec report.

Since The Highland Council is responsible for the Corran Narrows ferry service, so while we do not hold data on costs and revenues arising from provision of this service, The Highland Council may be able to provide you with this information. Their contact information can be found at

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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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