McArthur brands ferry procurement statement disappointing

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today criticised the Scottish Government following an announcement that a decision on the re-tendering of the Northern Isles ferry contract has been further delayed.

The criticism comes in response to the Transport Minister’s statement in Parliament today, where Mr Yousaf MSP confirmed that a decision on extending the contract for the Northern Isles service would now not be taken until Spring 2018.

Speaking in response to the statement, Mr McArthur said:

“It is disappointing that despite clear views from Orkney and Shetland in favour of tendering, the Minister has yet again failed to make a decision.

“After promises of decisions being taken by the end of the year, we are now told there will be a further delay and still more uncertainty. This is doing nothing to help focus attention on the improvements we need to see in these lifeline services and how these can be delivered.

“Meanwhile, Mr Yousaf was also unable to give any indication of a timeframe for publication of the freight fare review. This has been ongoing now for three years, with still no end in sight.

“Instead of kicking the can down the road for political reasons, the Minister should listen to the views being expressed by the local communities in the Northern Isles and bring an end to the uncertainty”.


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