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Cut to NorthLink food and drink discount riles isles politicians

Orkney politicians are railing against a cut to an islander discount on NorthLink Ferries vessels.

Both Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael have shared their disappointment over the company’s decision to shelve the on board food and drink discount for island residents. They believe that this decision is “ill-judged” and came “without warning”.

While Mr Carmichael has launched a petition calling on NorthLink to re-instate the 20 per cent discount, Mr McArthur shared his dismay over the cut.

“The decision by Northlink to drop the islander discount on meals and drinks is ill-judged and makes little sense,” he said.

“The reason for having the discount in place in the first instance hasn’t changed so why has the policy.

“It is also disappointing that there was no advance warning let alone public consultation, ahead of the change being made.

“Along with my Shetland colleague, Beatrice Wishart, I will be making representations to Northlink and the Transport Minister, highlighting the impact this decision will have on islanders, particularly those on restricted incomes.”

Asked to comment on the shelving of the discount, Jim Dow, Serco’s commercial director at NorthLink Ferries, said: “We are proud to offer an extensive food and drink menu on board that is very reasonably priced and equal for all passengers. Our commitment to working with local suppliers continues and we are proud to showcase those partnerships.

“While the Islander discount code is no longer in place, all passengers do have access to a variety of choices and price points.”

At the time of publication, Mr Carmichael’s petition — on www.alistaircarmichael.co.uk/northlinkdiscountnow — had gained over 1,000 signatures.