Council Leader to Press Senior Ministers for Ferry Improvements
Orkney Islands Council Leader, James Stockan, is to meet with senior Scottish Government ministers over the next couple of weeks to discuss a range of issues around Orkney's internal and external ferry services.
Councillor Stockan will meet with Paul Wheelhouse (Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands) and Derek Mackay (Finance Secretary) to press for action on RET for Orkney's internal and external ferry services and discuss opportunities for improvements to Northlink's services, including a year round middle of the day crossing on the Stromness-Scrabster route and a review of freight fares on the Pentland Firth.
He'll also take the opportunity to continue negotiations on fairer ferry funding requirements and the funding of replacement ferries for Orkney's internal ferry service.
Councillor Stockan said: "After some initial engagement with Mr Wheelhouse, I've set up further meetings with him and the Finance Secretary to really press forward on these issues.
"We're facing significant challenges in our internal and external ferry services. As a Council we are seeking fairness and it's vital to engage with the Scottish Government to support these matters.
"We have a long standing position in relation to the Northlink lifeline service and our definite long-term objective is to ensure that the internal ferry is fully funded year on year by the Government.
"In addition, we want to see new and improved vessels operating a more frequent service to all our isles communities, with fairer fares consistent with lifeline services provided elsewhere in Scotland."