11 June 2010

Ferries review

A review of ferry services in Scotland has been published by the Scottish Government today.

The Scottish Ferries Review examines current provision of ferry services. It invites respondents to consider a range of changes and improvements suggested by people and communities across Scotland that could be made to meet future customer needs. This includes:
  • how ferries should be funded and procured
  • the setting of fares
  • what kind of services should be supported with public money
  • who should be responsible for providing these services
The review was a commitment within the 2006 National Transport Strategy (NTS) and will inform the preparation of a long-term ferries plan for lifeline services to 2022.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"This Government is committed to delivering essential ferry services that support the needs of our remote and island communities.

"Scotland's ferries play a key role in providing access to vital services and enabling economic development in our island and remote rural communities, and ferry links to these communities must be an integral part of Scotland's transport network.

"As a Government, we recognise there will be a range of views in local communities about the future of ferry services and we want those views to be heard as part of this review. We will be carrying out an extensive programme of consultation events around the country and I would encourage as many people as possible to take part as local opinion will be vital in designing the ferry services of the future.

"We are determined to improve transport links across Scotland so that communities and individuals can make the fullest possible contribution to economic recovery and help secure future sustainable economic growth."

Councillor Alison Hay, COSLA's Regeneration and Sustainable Development spokesperson, said:

"Ferries form a lifeline service to our island communities and their economies. The results of this consultation will help shape our approach to how these are maintained and improved over the next decades.

"It is vital that stakeholders do take part so that the new strategy is well informed by peoples' views and needs."

Stewart Stevenson
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