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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07467: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 23 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has any plans to introduce the road equivalent tariff for the Northern Isles.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 March 2017

The Scottish Government’s Ferries Plan 2013-2022, published in December 2012, was clear that introducing Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) at that time or in the next few years would mean an increase on a range of available fares. Therefore the Ferries Plan stated that the intention was to phase in RET to the Northern Isles over a much longer time-frame, beyond the term of the 2011-2016 Parliament.

This Government was elected in 2016 with a clear manifesto commitment to take action to reduce ferry fares to the Northern Isles.

Shortly after taking up post I visited Orkney and Shetland and met with elected members, local authorities and other stakeholders to hear their views. I also commissioned a public consultation which took place at the end of 2016.

Consideration is currently being given to the views expressed as part of that consultation. Decisions on future fare levels will be taken in due course.

In the meantime ferry fares to the Northern Isles were frozen for 2017, the second consecutive year that prices have been kept on hold.