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.

Ferry fares reduction still does not go far enough, says MSP

Tavish Scott is joining Scottish Rugby.
Tavish Scott is joining Scottish Rugby.

A row over ferry fares has blown up again after Shetland MSP Tavish Scott said the proposed reductions to “exorbitant” prices should go further.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf announced Northern Isles ferry fares for foot passenger fares should be cut by an average of more than 40%, with car fares down more than 30% next year.

But Mr Scott said those travelling over the Pentland Firth also needed a reduction in the price for a cabin.

He said: “Sadly, the seas are not always calm. Ask any Shetlander. A poor trip on the boat is part of island life. Gales happen and the boat still sails.

“On nights like that, the only place is bed. So a bunk to lie down on is essential. Irrespective of the sea conditions, most passengers take to their berth at some point during the evening.”

Mr Scott said the Scottish Government plan did not recognise the issue in its approach to fares policy on the lifeline services connecting Shetland and Orkney to the Scottish mainland.

He said: “Fares are exorbitant. A family of four with the car heading south for the school holidays have little change from £600.

“When Nicola Sturgeon took the Aberdeen-Lerwick boat during the 2016 Holyrood election campaign she used a berth. The fares package looks better for visitors to the Northern isles rather than islanders.

“Having a cabin is not some luxury extra. It is an essential part of the overnight 12-hour journey.

“The Transport Minister should try an overnight sailing in February without a bunk. Then he too might recognise that cabins have to be part of the fares deal.”

A spokesman for the Mr Yousaf said the cost of cabins would be kept under review.

He said: “We are well aware of the importance of cabins to those travelling to and from the Northern Isles.

“Cabin capacity is already an issue, particularly in the busy summer months, so cabin costs are being kept under review at this stage.

“This issue will continue to be looked at in the longer term, alongside options to mitigate capacity challenges.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]