Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil has today received news from the Transport Department of the Scottish Government stating they will accede to Mr MacNeil’s request to allow vans up to 6 metres to travel at normal vehicle rates rather than commercial rates.  This change will be effective from spring 2012.

This move has been asked for by many in the islands due to the manufacture of vehicles having changed making it difficult for light commercials and small businesses to fit within the 5-metre range.

Mr MacNeil said:

“I welcome this important step for the islands economy in haulage and carriage to the islands.  This should help for sailings over the Minch and over the sounds of Barra and Harris.

“I am pleased that the Transport Minister Keith Brown has listened on this issue as both myself and my colleague Alasdair Allan MSP have been actively lobbying of this.

“While we still have much to do and must maintain our focus on lobbying and persuading over the issue of HGVs and their transport costs to the islands, I am of course pleased that the Scottish Government have listened to Hebridean concerns and brought us into line with the Northern Isles on the 6-metre issue.

“Many people will be happy with this victory for the islands and can look forward to the benefits this spring.”