MSP urges concession for Bute dairy tankers

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell.
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell.

A concession given to empty agricultural vehicles should be extended to milk tankers to help Bute’s hard-pressed dairy farmers.

So says Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, who has raised the issue with the Scottish Government after NFU Scotland took up the case with transport minister Derek MacKay.

Mr Russell said: “Presently some vehicles serving the agricultural industry travel free when empty and only pay the full fare when loaded. However the tanker that takes milk from Gigha to Campbeltown and from Bute to the mainland is not entitled to this concession.

“Given the difficulties of the dairy industry at present and the marginal nature of milk production on the islands I have been urging the application of this concession on ministers for some time, and I was pleased that Richard Lochhead referred to it this week in his evidence to the Parliament’s rural affairs committee.

“The backing of NFUS is of great help and importance in taking the issue a step further forward and I look forward to the response of ministers and Transport Scotland.”