Transport Scotland's ferry services


Our report on Transport Scotland's ferry services was published in October 2017. The Tableau visualisation below shows passenger and vehicle numbers for ferry routes in Scotland, and their reliability and punctuality.

About the data

  • The map shows an estimate of the ferry routes within Scotland, as at October 2017. The total number of routes is difficult to confirm because there are a number of operators across Scotland of varying levels of scale and publicity. Differentiating between a ferry and a leisure craft can also be difficult.
  • Passenger, car and commercial vehicle numbers were provided by Transport Scotland and individual ferry operators. Data is for the 2016 calendar year, with the exception of Serco NorthLink, which Transport Scotland publishes for the period July to June.
  • Traffic figures for routes operated by Argyll and Bute Council and Highland Council are estimated, based on 2015 figures. 
  • Passenger numbers on the Corran ferry (Nether Lochaber – Ardgour) are estimated.
  • Traffic numbers for individual routes to the Skerries in Shetland represent the total traffic travelling from the mainland to the Skerries.
  • Transport Scotland does not hold data for some council-operated routes and CalMac’s Gallanach – Kerrera route.
  • Commercial and community ferry operators are not required to report traffic and performance information to Transport Scotland, so there is no data for most of these operators.
  • Reliability and punctuality data is only shown for Transport Scotland subsidised services. It is presented after weather-related cancellations and delays have been accounted for.
  • For Serco NorthLink routes, the reliability and punctuality data for each route represents the performance for all routes operated by Serco NorthLink.

How to use our graphics

  • Hovering over the map will give you detailed information about individual routes, including the route name, operator, passenger, car and commercial vehicle numbers in 2016, and reliability and punctuality statistics for 2016.
  • The map can be filtered by individual operator using the list on the right hand side. To select more than one operator, hold down “Ctrl” and click on all of the operators you are interested in. To show all operators click the title “All ferry operators” at the top of the list.
  • Individual routes can also be selected, using the list and search function in the bottom left corner.
  • You can zoom in/out by scrolling on the area of the map you are interested in. You can also zoom in/out by using the controls in the top left corner of the map. To re-centre the map click on the pin icon.
  • To access the data behind the map, click 'Download' at the bottom of the graphics and select the format.