Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Alasdair Allan have today welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Transport, Keith Brown that the Scottish Government will be investing £1.9 million in the next financial year to ensure that the fare increases for hauliers will be pegged at 2.7% instead of the original planned increase of 34%.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“I very much welcome this extra funding. These are very tight economic times. The Scottish Government is facing many calls on its budget, while at the same time the budget is being squeezed by the Westminster Government.

“I hope that this will be welcomed and it shows that the Scottish Government has been listening to the concerns from a variety of voices from within the communities in the islands.”

Commenting Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“This is very positive step forward, and will hold fare increases for lorries on Western Isles ferry routes to the mainland down to 2.7%, instead of the 34% increase being predicted in some quarters.

“Despite immense pressures on Scotland’s budget, the Transport Minister has listened to the views of the community and put almost £2 million additional funding into ferry routes in the islands to enable fares to be held down.  Meanwhile, RET fares of course continue for cars, vans and foot passengers, and RET will also be extended to the Sound of Harris and Sound of Barra routes by early 2016.