McArthur: Northern Isles will not forget ferry fare promises


Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today warned the SNP that people in the Northern Isles will not forget the promises made by the First Minister during the election on ferry fares.

During the election campaign, local SNP candidates ran online adverts and election material pledging cuts to fares for lifeline ferry services. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also promised action to tackle high fares when she visited Orkney and Shetland in April.

Mr McArthur, who was re-elected in Orkney with 67% of the vote, has in one of his first acts of the new Parliament tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions pressing the Scottish Government on the steps that it will take to cut the price of ferry travel across the Northern Isles.

Speaking as MSPs returned to Holyrood, Mr McArthur said:

“The SNP have had nine years to offer people in the Northern Isles a fair deal on ferry fares. They have failed to act.

“During the election campaign, the First Minister promised work would begin immediately to cut the cost of lifeline ferry services. Local SNP candidates ran paid adverts pledging action to slash the price of ferry tickets. People will not forget these assurances. The SNP did not win in Orkney or Shetland but that does not mean that the First Minister is off the hook. Now that the election is over we need to see urgent action to deliver on these commitments.

“SNP Ministers can no longer justify playing one island community off against another. We need to see the Northern Isles treated fairly. That means getting the same sort of support to reduce the cost of ferry journeys that has been available on west coast routes for years. The election of a new parliament offers an opportunity to put right this wrong.”

ENDS.

Notes to editors:

Mr McArthur’s written question: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5W-00046&ResultsPerPage=10


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