FURTHER issues with the vessels at the centre of Scotland's ferry fiasco mean an extra £20 million in costs and a delay of up to six months in the delivery of the first ship.

It has emerged that the much-delayed Glen Sannox - whose latest reschedule was for autumn 2023 - is now set to be available for passengers in the spring of next year.

Ferguson Marine Port Glasgow chief executive David Tydeman said new problems have meant that the first ship Glen Sannox has added a further £20m to its cost and admitted that completing it by the time of a 'contract backstop' of no later than the end of December 2023 is a challenge.

He said he was optimistic that Glen Sannox 'should be available to passengers in spring 2024'.

The delayed second vessel, only known as Hull 802, which was supposed to be online in the last reschedule in the autumn of 2024 having already been delayed to the end of March 2024, is now pushed back to November 2024. The contract backstop was stated as being at the end of December 2024.

The shipyard chief said that since calling for £72m extra costs in September - a further £20m was needed to deal with further faults found with Glen Sannox for 'specification compliance', replacement of equipment and pipework 'some of which are proving very difficult to resolve'.

There were further costs from changing steelwork, and from sub-contractors for their services for modifications and design changes.

Greenock Telegraph: A BRIGHT future for Inverclyde's Ferguson Marine is hoped for as new chief executive John Tydeman steers the yard through the storm that is the construction of the hybrid ferry Glen Sannox. Hopefully the troubled ferry will at last depart Port

"We will update separately on any work scope and procurement challenges that may arise from this over the next month," said Mr Tydeman.

He added: "It's clear and regrettable, that having 100 per cent confidence in the delivery date for Glen Sannox will remain a challenge monthly as we progress through commissioning, snagging and handover trials during the rest of the year.

"Regrettably, re-work issues continue to arise and will probably not fully close out until handover.

"This has significantly increased the overall scope of work since we set out the forecasts last September."

A ferry user group official said: "Just when we thought we might finally see Glen Sannox in the autumn, we find that the goalposts have changed again.

"This fiasco has become nothing more than a farce and it is us islanders that are the ones that suffer every time."