The Scottish Government is facing calls for “urgent” investment in Calmac ferries after new figures revealed that more than 120 repairs have been made to the fleet since 2016.
Scottish Government data, obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation, showed there had been 125 repairs made to 31 vessels in the last two years.
Among the problems were faults with diesel engines, power generators, propellers and ramps.
Other difficulties included a water leak on the MV Dunvegan, a problem with the ballast pump on the MV Finlaggan and a gas leakage caused by battery failure on the MV Hebidean Isles.
The gear box on the Isle of Cumbrae had to be replaced and there was an oil tank leak on the MV Loch Buie.
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Of the 31 vessels, 30 were forced to make more than one repair with the MV Loch Seaforth, Mv Loch Dunvegan and the MV Isle of Cumbrae reporting seven faults each.
A total of 13 were recorded for the MV Isle of Arran. The government’s FoI response did not give a figure for the repairs bill, despite being asked for one.
Concerns over the reliability and age of the Scottish Government-funded organisation’s fleet were raised in the summer when the service was disrupted.
Yesterday Labour Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant said the number of repairs were “deeply troubling”.
“We already know that passengers are facing more delays because of CalMac’s ageing fleet – and the extent of repairs needed show just how serious this problem really is, she said.
“It is absolutely essential we see urgent investment in the CalMac fleet to prevent unnecessary delays.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said £1.2 billion had been invested in the fleet over the last decade which had seen new vessels, routes and harbour upgrades.
Reduced fares had driven passenger growth to 5.2 million people and 1.4 million vehicles each year.
“We acknowledge the frustration of customers during periods of disruption and are taking actions to address these concerns by continuing to invest in new ferries for the fleet and improving harbour facilities,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman added that £3.5million had gone to a “resilience fund” to reduce the risk of vessels breaking down.
A CalMac spokesman said: “CalMac operates in some of the harshest sea conditions in Europe, as such the vessels we operate are under enormous physical strain and will inevitably from time to time experience technical issues. The majority of these can be addressed without the need to take the vessel out of service.”