Orkney and Shetland are at a disadvantage without access to the Scottish Government's cheaper ferry fares scheme, say the islands’ MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott.
Following news that the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) has increased car crossings on the Western Coast by up to 80%, the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs for the Northern Isles have called on Scottish Ministers to level the playing field and deliver on the SNP’s commitment to fairer costs will be met.
Recent reports have also indicated that ferry services on the West Coast have been struggling to handle additional traffic.
Commenting, Liam McArthur MSP said:
“Given the increase in ferry traffic it is clear that the Scottish Government's cheaper ferry fares scheme has been good for tourism and business on the West Coast. The continued exclusion of Orkney and Shetland, however, is putting our tourist sector at a competitive disadvantage. All the time the Scottish Government sits on its hands, local businesses are missing out.”
Tavish Scott MSP added:
"To great fanfare, successive Scottish transport ministers have been found extolling the benefits of a 50 per cent cut to ferry fares on the west coast. Quite right too. However, despite their promises the SNP have had 9 years to deliver for Orkney and Shetland and have failed. While Ministers should reflect on the implications increased ferry traffic could have on Northern Isles ferry services, they must get on with their job and set out their plans."