Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has called on the Scottish Government to introduce additional help with the cost of ferry travel for islands-based veterans.
Last week, the Scottish Government announced that funding has been made available for an additional introductory discount for veterans in Scotland to participate in the Veterans Rail Card Scheme.
Mr McArthur has written to the Minister for Veterans, Graeme Dey, to highlight that islands-based veterans as less able to take advantage of the scheme unless a similar discount is introduced on ferry travel.
Orkney’s MSP has therefore urged the Minister to consider introducing a similar discount for veterans living in Orkney to travel to the Scottish mainland as well as on Orkney Ferries routes from the smaller isles.
Mr McArthur commented:
“The announcement of an additional introductory discount for veterans across Scotland to take part in the Rail Card Scheme is of course very welcome.
“However, any benefit from this discount simply gets cancelled out for isles-based veterans, who still face paying full price to travel by ferry to the Scottish mainland. This rather defeats the purpose and makes it much less beneficial to veterans in Orkney.
“In the interests of fairness, it would seem reasonable to extend the scheme to allow a discount to cover ferry travel to the Scottish mainland and in from the smaller isles as well.
“I have written to the Minister for Veterans urging him to consider applying the discount more broadly for islanders. It’s important that veterans who live in the islands aren’t left behind and have just as much opportunity to take advantage of this scheme as those living on mainland Scotland.”