Bute’s Westminster MP Alan Reid has called on the Scottish Government to clarify what it means by ‘demand management’ with respect to ferry fares based on road equivalent tariff.
The phrase has been used by Scotland’s transport minister Keith Brown to justify the introduction of an RET trial on Arran’s ferry services from this October, 12 months before the new fares structure is due to be introduced to Bute and other islands where it’s not already in operation.
“It sounds suspiciously like the SNP intend to exempt busy sailings from the cheaper RET fares,” Mr Reid said.
“Given that the SNP have already excluded commercial vehicles from RET and the RET fares are often no cheaper than books of tickets, the main beneficiaries from RET would be tourists. If busy sailings are also to be excluded from RET, many visitors won’t benefit either.”
A spokesperson for Mr Brown replied: “This is sheer hypocrisy from the Lib Dems who did nothing for ferry fares during their eight years in office in Scotland and who are presently overseeing massive increases in fuel costs, as well as imposing cuts to Scottish Government budgets.”
* More from both Alan Reid and the Scottish Government in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, July 31.