Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has written to Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in an attempt to cut Royal Mail costs by also carrying the daily papers to Lewis Harris and Uist and Benbecula.  Newspapers in the islands will now be delivered by ferry, this situation has arisen because of increased freight charges required by the carrier Loganair.

Loganair have recently seen a cut to turnover due to the savage axing of most inter island flights by the local council.

Angus MacNeil said:

“It is of course disappointing that daily newspapers will not be arriving in most of the islands until lunchtime, these changes affect islands from Eriskay to Lewis, with Barra unaffected due to a different distribution route.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP to see if there is a possibility of cutting Royal Mail costs by combining the Mail flight with the papers which could cut the cost of both services and overall run matters more efficiently for the islands.

“Further, many people like to get their papers in the morning and for some people, especially pensioners, getting the papers can be almost a morning ritual.  This social benefit combined with the obvious advantage to the shops to have papers on the shelves before they become history, further illustrates good sound reasons for at least exploring the possibility of the Royal Mail Charter plane also carrying newspapers.

“It seems eminently sensible that a plane coming over with the Royal Mail, daily, should take over the newspapers.  This could be a win-win situation; it would be a way of reducing costs for the Royal Mail, something Government is constantly worried about, and ensuring that newspapers are delivered to the islands at a reasonable time.”