Concerns over a proposal to increase ferry fares on peak time services has been raised by Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron.
The idea, which is contained in the SNP Government’s Scottish Ferries Plan, is one of several proposals to ease passenger and vehicle congestion put forward in the document which maps out the future of Scotland’s ferry services until 2022.
However, the idea has been criticised by local communities across the Highlands and Islands, with some fearing that it could discourage people from living and working in Scotland’s island communities in particular.
Today in the Scottish Parliament, Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron asked the Minister Paul Wheelhouse to give assurances that local people across the region would not be impacted by such a proposal.
Paul Wheelhouse responded by stating: “we recognise the concern that users of lifeline ferry services have about accessibility to services when they need them” and that he would “be happy to meet Donald Cameron to discuss his concerns about issues that have been raised directly with him.”
Donald Cameron MSP said following the exchange:
“There has been huge concern across the islands about this particular proposal found in the SNP’s ferries plan, and the minister did not adequately address the very significant worries which local residents have about the issue.
“At a time when the high cost of living remains a real threat to population levels in our island communities, the last thing we need are hikes in fares on lifeline ferry services.”