CALLS to reinstate the ferry service from Scotland to mainland Europe are growing.

Ferries stopped sailing between Rosyth and Zeebrugge five years ago, and the last that carried passenger services – and not just freight – was in 2010.

We reported on Monday that a petition calling for the service to return had reached over 6000 signatures, now it is over 7000.

There has also been political pressure, as Kate Forbes committed to reinstating the service during the SNP leadership race in March. Now First Minister Humza Yousaf also said at the time that he would be “open” to directly intervening in the efforts to re-establish the ferry link.

The National: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 05: First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf sets out his first Programme for Government since becoming leader at Scottish Parliament on September 05, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf

Lead campaigner for the issue, SNP MP Douglas Chapman, told The National: “The progress we've made to date cannot be underestimated, and like those who have signed the petition, we know that this service is a necessity for hauliers and tourists alike.”

Currently, Scots need to travel down to Newcastle if they want to take a ferry to mainland Europe. But how long has Scotland gone without a homegrown service?

The National has created a timeline for the history of this once popular service:

The National: