Invitation to Tender (ITT) announcement

Friday 18th January 2019

Responding to the Minister’s statement yesterday (17 January) announcing the release of the ITT for Scotland’s Northern Isles Ferry Services, Serco’s Managing Director of NorthLink Ferries Stuart Garrett, commented:

“Serco welcomes the release of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) today by the Minister and we are looking forward to submitting a compelling bid for the service, building on the improvements which we’ve already introduced over the past six years. NorthLink Ferries has, under Serco’s management, delivered a high quality and reliable passenger and freight lifeline service, while at the same time substantially reducing the tax payer subsidy.

“We have invested significantly to improve our passengers’ experience, introducing a range of improvements and innovations to the vessels and the service which have resulted in an 8% increase in the number of passengers carried since the start of the contract. In fact 98% of passengers surveyed have rated their overall experience as positive.

“As well as our focus on quality and reliability for passengers, our management of the contract has resulted in a reduction of 36% in the tax-payer subsidy in the first four years, according to Audit Scotland, reducing from £51.5m to £33.2m. This represents a decrease from 67% to 51% of operating costs.

“We want to continue to make sure that we put local communities and partners front and centre of our work to help grow the island economies, and look forward to submitting our bid later this year.”