Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Western Isles Council seeks ‘level playing field’ through proposal of reduced rates to transport goods to islands

Western Isles Council will administer the fund, which aims to help charities in need swiftly access emergency cash.
Western Isles Council will administer the fund, which aims to help charities in need swiftly access emergency cash.

Western Isles Council has hit out at high costs of transporting goods to the islands demanding a discount scheme be introduced to create a “level playing field”.

Western Isles councillors are calling for the introduction of a scheme similar to that currently in place for the Northern Isles ferry services, with discounted rates to ensure affordable delivery of items to and from Orkney and Shetland.

Discounts ranging from 21% to 78% are currently in place on hauliers taking goods on the Serco Northlink services.

After talks with business leaders in the islands, the council is making the demand in response to what they say is a “recurring theme” the has developed over the “high cost of transporting goods to the islands”.

Councillor Uisdean Robertson, chairman of transportation and infrastructure, said: “The cost of getting goods to and from the islands has an enormous effect on the ability to do business from the Western Isles and impacts on everyday life here.

“Government should do all it can to foster our fragile island economies.

“The range of discounts that support key sectors in Orkney and Shetland are very pragmatic steps that support the way of life in the Northern Isles. We do not seek to see these removed.

“Instead we feel government should extend these excellent schemes to the Clyde and Hebridean islands to bring a direct reduction to the cost of living and doing business in these islands, too.”

Islanders have claimed they are unable to access goods where additional charges are levied for transport beyond the mainland due to the significant price hikes.

The difficulty to have goods delivered affordably has also been suggested as one reason by the Western Isles Council as to why the cost of building work has inflated.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland, the Scottish Governments executive agency for transport issues, said the existing ferry freight fares structure is “extremely complex” adding that differences are put in place regarding the rate paid “per mile, categories of freight, rules of carriage and discounts across the various ferry networks”.

He added: “We are currently conducting a comprehensive review of ferry freight fares under the guidance of a Working Group of key stakeholders, and have agreed a preferred structure with them on a cost-neutral basis.

“Analysis of the impact of any potential changes on individual fares, hauliers and sectors is currently being carried out and further details will be made available once conclusions have been reached.”

Policy relating to the price of fares, including transportation on both freight and non-freight services, are to be reviewed as part of work by the Scottish Government towards the next Ferries Plan, which at its earliest will be delivered in 2022.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]