Commenting today on the draft ferry review published by the Scottish Government SNP MP for Na H-Eileanan an Iar Angus MacNeil said:

“The ferries review is an avenue for us to look again at the decision to remove RET from haulage companies, it is essential that RET is retained for island hauliers.

“We have also heard this week from the local fishing industry and the Scottish Crofting Federation who have grave concerns about the removal of RET from hauliers and today I have received feedback from the Western Isles Fishermens Association who are worried that they will no longer be competitive with mainland operators due to the proposed increase in transport costs.

“The review also allows us to continue fighting for a service between Lochboisdale and Mallaig. It also gives an opportunity to those who are fighting to change the 5 metre rule for commercial operators, increasing it to 6 metres, to give their views, and bring the Western Isles in line with the Northern Isles.

“I would encourage all interested parties to respond to the consultation which runs until March 2012.”