Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has pressed the First Minister when the Scottish Government will "finally deliver" Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) on Pentland Firth routes repeatedly promised "year after year".
Speaking during First Minister Questions, Mr McArthur reminded the First Minister that RET was delivered on West Coast routes 14 years ago and promised on Pentland Firth routes just under 4 years ago. In response, Nicola Sturgeon said there had been "complications" and potential "unintended consequences" but offered no firm date for RET delivery.
In September, the Transport Minister responded to a written parliamentary question by saying the Scottish Government had resumed work on delivery of RET after being paused during the pandemic and offered to "provide updates to stakeholders and Parliament as soon as it is possible to do so."
Speaking after the exchange, Mr McArthur said:
"As we approach the end of another year with still no sign of RET on Pentland Firth routes, the patience of islanders has been exhausted.
"The response from the First Minister today suggests there is little urgency within her government to deliver on this long overdue promise. To make matters worse, Ministers seem to have decided not to bother even inventing new excuses for this failure.
"This is frankly insulting and cannot continue. 2022 needs to see the Scottish Government finally get its act together and introduce cheaper fares on these lifeline Pentland Firth routes."