Jamie Halcro Johnston challenges new Transport Secretary on Northern Isles’ RET commitment

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has challenged the new Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, to honour commitments made by the SNP on delivering cheaper fares on the Northern Isles ferry routes.

Former SNP Transport Minister Humza Yousaf had repeatedly promised that fares to and from the Northern Isles would be reduced by the middle of this year under a variant of the RET scheme currently operating on the Clyde and Hebridean routes.

However, the policy has been beset with problems following ongoing disputes with operators and, with the SNP’s own deadline only days away, there has still been no confirmation that the SNP will meet their own schedule.  

Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP said:

“The new Transport Secretary has just days to implement RET for ferry fares to Orkney and Shetland, in line with commitment made by his predecessor and after years of promises from the SNP.

“While I congratulate Humza Yousaf on his new role as Justice Secretary, we cannot let the SNP’s reshuffle be an excuse for them to dump long-standing pledges to our island communities or to kick them into the long grass.

“The constant delays we have seen regarding RET have caused real uncertainty in the Northern Isles and have left residents and visitors unable to plan journeys knowing what the eventual costs will be.

“I have written to Michael Matheson to encourage him to put delivering the RET scheme at the top of his in-tray and to ensure that, after years of delay, this commitment to the people of Orkney and Shetland is finally delivered.”