Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today pressed the Islands Minister to remember the need to address the cost of fares on Orkney’s internal ferry routes.
The exchange with the Islands Minister took place during General Questions in the Scottish Parliament today. Mr McArthur called on the new Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, to “bear in mind the need to address the issue of internal ferry fares within Orkney, as well as the services to and from the Scottish Mainland.”
Responding to Orkney’s MSP, Mr Yousaf acknowledged the case made by Liam McArthur when they met last week and confirmed the issue of internal ferry fares is “certainly part of the considerations that we will make.”
During the exchanges, Mr Yousaf also made the claim that RET “would significantly increase the majority of fares on services” to the Northern Isles.
Following the exchanges, Mr McArthur said:
“Orkney’s internal ferry services provide a lifeline for the smaller isles. Reducing the cost of travel on these as well as the external routes is vitally important.
“I therefore welcome the Minister’s confirmation that action will be taken to cut fares on our internal routes. Hopefully this will go hand in hand with a commitment to help replace the existing fleet as well.
“It was disappointing, however, to hear the Minister and SNP backbenchers continue their tired old excuses about RET putting up fares for those in the Northern Isles. Figures produced by the government’s own advisers give the lie to this.
“Mr Yousaf is due to be in Orkney over the summer. During that visit, I look forward to him setting the detail of how he plans, at last, to deliver a fair deal for Orkney on ferry fares.”