McArthur raises "long-standing" issues with new Transport Minister

Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has called on the new Transport Minister to make "much needed progress on a number of long-standing issues" relating to the provision of lifeline services in the isles.  

Mr McArthur has written to Jenny Gilruth following her appointment as the new Minister for Transport yesterday.  In his letter, Mr McArthur reiterated the "urgent need" to replace Orkney's ageing internal ferry fleet and deliver RET on Pentland Firth routes which "continues to exhaust the patience of islanders".

Orkney's MSP has also highlighted concern that the Strategic Transport Project Review, announced to parliament by the Cabinet Secretary last week, appeared to make no mention of any Orkney related project.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

"I congratulate Jenny Gilruth on her appointment and wish her well in this key role.  I also send my best wishes to her predecessor, Graeme Dey following his decision to step down for health reasons.

"However, I’ve reminded the new Transport Minister of some of the long-standing issues that remain unresolved in relation to Orkney’s transport infrastructure and services.

"Whether it be the urgent need to replace Orkney's ageing internal ferry fleet or the long overdue delivery of RET on Pentland Firth routes, the Scottish Government must now face up to its responsibilities and promises made to our island communities that rely on these lifeline services.

"The lack of any mention of these or any other Orkney-related projects within the government's Strategic Transport Review, announced last week, was also a concern.  I appreciate the review is subject to consultation but the absence of any Orkney projects does not inspire confidence.

"I plan to discuss this with Orkney Islands Council and other local stakeholders before going back to the Transport Minister in due course.  It is essential that such a strategic review property reflects the needs of our islands."

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