CalMac Ferries are seeking a new ticketing system for all their services…and are holding a supplier Open Day in Glasgow tomorrow (Thursday August 1) to get the process under way.

The company are calling the project An Turas or Our Journey.

They say: “With reference to the Prior Information Notice on Public Contracts Scotland ( CalMac Ferries Ltd is seeking to secure a standard, off-the-shelf reservations and ticketing software package or packages plus ancillary products and services to bring a new customer experience to life and to help us keep pace with digital evolution.

“CalMac are hosting a supplier open day on Thursday 1st August (09:30 - 13:00) at the University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow which is open to all companies interested in hearing more about the opportunity.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has welcomed this move.  Mr MacNeil has already suggested to Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP that introducing different time windows to the booking system would ensure space was available for island residents and businesses who need to travel at short notice. Mr Wheelhouse reacted positively to the idea.

 Mr MacNeil said: “Investment by Transport Scotland in a new booking system is very welcome.

“This will modernise the whole system and allow the company to manage deck space more efficiently and improve communications during adverse weather.

"Consultation on this will provide an opportunity for communities to tell Calmac what they want.

“The current situation is unworkable for short term travellers which includes businesses and those who need to travel due to a bereavement or family illness.  Many ferry services are booked up months in advance so in order to relieve this issue, an instant solution would be to alter the system. 

“This would also work for flights which are in high demand such as those between Barra and Glasgow which are currently fully booked up to end of August.”