All of Scotland’s £1 billion ferry services could be taken into public hands after a review into the current deal was announced by transport minister Humza Yousaf yesterday.
It follows new guidance from the European Commission which indicated that the routes may not have to go out to tender, which currently sees private firms allowed to bid to run services.
The current tender process for Northern Isles and the Gourock-Dunoon ferries is to be paused. Mr Yousaf said contract holders Serco and Argyll Ferries had been informed, although the former is likely to provide the Northern Isles contract until 2019.
Mr Yousaf said: “We need to give very careful consideration to the potential impact of any changes before final decisions are made.”