Welcome for cheaper fares announcement
Orkney Islands Council has welcomed a Scottish Government scheme to significantly reduce ferry fares on routes between the Northern Isles and mainland Scotland.
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf has announced that Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) will be introduced on Pentland Firth routes, whilst a variant of the RET scheme will be brought in on the routes from Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick. He said passenger fares would be cut by an average of more than 40%, whilst car fares will be reduced by an average of more than 30%.
Work is being undertaken with the commercial operators on the Pentland Firth with a view to including them in the fares reduction scheme.
OIC Leader James Stockan said: “I welcome the Minister’s announcement that there will be a significant reduction in fares on all routes linking Orkney with the Scottish mainland.
“The Council has been working on this with the Scottish Government for a considerable time. We have long wished to see travel south made more affordable for the people of our islands – and tourists encouraged by cheaper fares to visit Orkney in even greater numbers than they do today.
“We expect reduced fares to result in considerably more traffic on our external ferry routes, as they have on the West Coast of Scotland. The Minister’s commitment to provide parity with the West Coast routes and an overarching fares policy will benefit our community greatly.”