Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid has added his voice to calls for Bute’s ferry fares to be treated in the same fashion as those on Arran.
Mr Reid was speaking in advance of a population summit to be held in Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall on Friday, May 9.
As reported in the April 18 issue of The Buteman, ferry fares on Arran’s two routes will be significantly reduced when a new pilot of ‘road equivalent tariff’ is introduced on the Ardrossan-Brodick and Claonaig-Lochranza services in October.
Bute, in contrast, still has no firm date for the introduction of RET, with the Scottish Government committing only to introduce the lower fares within the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament - i.e. potentially as late as May 2016.
“We must reverse the decline in our population, particularly on the Isle of Bute which has seen a drastic fall in population in recent years,” Mr Reid said.
“An important action the SNP Government should take is to cut the ferry fares to Bute at the same time as those to Arran are cut later this year.
“It is obvious that Bute businesses cannot compete with Arran or the mainland as long as ferry fares remain at their current high levels.
“Urgent action to cut ferry fares is needed to reverse the fall in the number of people living and working on Bute.”