Responding to news that the start of the new Northern Isles Ferry contract will be delayed until 31st January 2020 following further correspondence between the European Commission and the Scottish Government in relation to the ongoing complaint from Pentland Ferries, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur commented:
“The new contract for the Northern Isles Ferry Service is already 18 months late. This further three month delay is the last thing communities in Orkney and Shetland needed, given the ongoing uncertainty it creates.
“It seems that every time Ministers make an announcement the deadline for the new contract gets pushed back. This latest delay is blamed on concerns raised by the European Commission. Given the regular dialogue between the Scottish Government and the Commission over the past year, it beggars belief that Ministers should have been caught out in this way.
“Meanwhile, businesses and communities in Orkney and Shetland are left wondering when they will ever get clarity over the future of these lifeline ferry services.”