McArthur calls for additional support for Northern Isles ferry routes

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has called for additional funding to be made available from the Scottish Government to support additional sailings on Northern Isles ferry routes.

Last week, the government announced that Calmac have been awarded extra funding to support additional capacity and help to extend the tourist season on routes to Skye and between North Uist and Harris.

In response, Mr McArthur has lodged parliamentary questions to establish what plans the government has to undertake similar consultations with stakeholders in Orkney to establish the demand for increased services.

Orkney’s MSP commented:

“The announcement of additional support for west coast routes is obviously welcome news for those areas benefiting but the government appears to have once again missed the boat when it comes to the Northern Isles.

“Orkney has a strong tourism sector but efforts to extend the season have not been helped by the reduction in sailings on the Stromness-Scrabster route approved by the Scottish Government under the current contract.

“Orkney already lags behind west coast routes when it comes to the implementation of RET, but the government cannot be allowed to widen the gap further. Given the recent decision to increase capacity on the west coast, Ministers cannot justify ignoring calls for a similar approach on Orkney’s lifeline services.”

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