Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has written to Councillor John Mackay, Chair of Transportation and Malcolm Burr, Chief Executive of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to ask what steps the local authority are taking to improve transport links between North Uist and Barra, following the downgrading of inter-island flights.

Mr MacNeil has again raised this issue with the Comhairle because of the inadequate travel connections available to people who need to travel from North Uist to make onward connections.

Commenting Angus MacNeil said:

“Following the downgrading of the Stornoway to Benbecula flights and the axing of the Benbecula to Barra flights, people continue to find it difficult to make onward connections.

“The lack of a streamlined public transport service connecting ferries and planes is proving expensive for some people who are left with no option but to take a taxi to connect with onward travel connections.

“What we all really need is for the Comhairle to reinstate the inter-island flights but in the meantime the Comhairle must be proactive and take steps to make the journey as smooth as possible.”

Mr MacNeil added: “In light of improved services operated by the Scottish Government on sea and in air, such as the arrival of MV Loch Seaforth and daily sailings for first time ever for Lochboisdale and Castlebay to Mallaig and Oban respectively, the only island transportation that has gone backwards is council-run.  Maybe it is time for all island air links, like ferry links, to be handed to the Scottish Government.”