McArthur: Orkney is still being left high and dry over ferry fares

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today repeated his call for SNP Ministers to deliver cheaper ferry fares for those in the Northern Isles. 

During Economy Questions in parliament this afternoon, Mr McArthur highlighted that it is now a year since the First Minister made her promise to act 'immediately' in response to demands for cuts to ferry fares on Orkney and Shetland routes.

Speaking in the chamber, Mr McArthur pointed out that the key to inclusive economic growth for the islands was the need to allow businesses and communities the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

Commenting afterwards Mr McArthur said:

“A year on from the First Minister’s commitment to “begin work immediately” to cut the cost of ferry fares for those living, working and visiting Orkney and Shetland, we are still waiting. Indeed, it is nine years since the SNP government first began introducing cheaper ferry fares on west coast routes.

“Meantime, the cost of our lifeline ferry services continues to put businesses in Orkney and Shetland at a competitive disadvantage. We have heard the promises. We have taken part in the consultations. After years of being left high and dry by this Scottish Government, what we now need is long overdue action to deliver fairer ferry fares for the Northern Isles."


Notes to editors:

During last year’s election campaign, the First Minister told media during a visit to the Northern Isles that "a re-elected SNP government will begin work immediately to look at how we can reduce fares for the northern isles and provide greater support to businesses and residents in Shetland and Orkney". Local SNP candidates in the Isles also ran paid adverts saying that a re-elected SNP government would act.

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