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EDITIONS
 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 12:48 GMT
Summer launch hopes for ferry link
Ferry
Bidders are being sought to run the service
A new ferry service between Campbeltown and Northern Ireland could be in operation by the summer, according to Scottish ministers.

Potential bidders have been invited to put in tenders to run the service and submit technical details by 21 February.

The contract will be for a service running for at least 11 months of the year between Campbeltown and Ballycastle on the north Antrim coast.

The initial contract period will be for five years.

Lewis Macdonald
This is another notable milestone

Deputy Transport Minister Lewis Macdonald
The service would be eligible for a subsidy of up to 1m a year from the administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Deputy Transport Minister Lewis Macdonald said the tender details incorporated many of the comments made locally during a consultation exercise.

"This is another notable milestone in the tendering process and I am pleased good progress has been made to reach this stage so quickly," said the minister.

"The Scottish Executive and our colleagues in Northern Ireland remain committed to seeking an operator for the service between Campbeltown and Northern Ireland."

A summer-only service ran from Campbeltown to Ballycastle from 1997 to 1999, but was withdrawn after making losses.

A change to the Scotland Act was needed to enable the service to be publicly subsidised by the executive.

See also:

11 Oct 02 | Scotland
08 Feb 01 | Scotland
29 Aug 00 | Scotland
04 Nov 99 | Scotland
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