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McArthur presses government on ageing inter isles ferries

Liam McArthur MSP

Orkney MSP, Liam McArthur, has pressed the Scottish Government to agree a way forward in replacing Orkney’s ageing internal ferry fleet.

During Portfolio Questions, yesterday, Thursday, Mr McArthur highlighted the need for greater investment in low emission modes of transport and urged Ministers to therefore look at how Orkney’s ageing internal fleet could be replaced with newer, more fuel-efficient vessels.

In response, the environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham confirmed that she will discuss this further with the transport secretary.

Following the exchange, Mr McArthur said: “For Scotland to have a chance of meeting its climate change targets transport emissions need to be cut significantly. This will require the Scottish Government to invest in lower emission modes of transport, including more fuel efficient ferries.

“Orkney’s internal ferry service is a perfect example. This lifeline for our island communities is operated by ageing vessels, which are costly to run, damaging to the environment and no longer fit for purpose.

“Scottish Ministers should therefore be looking to agree on a replacement programme with Orkney Islands Council that would introduce more fuel-efficient vessels that cut emissions, cost less to operate and provide our island communities with the service they need and deserve.

“If the Scottish Government is genuinely committed to meeting its climate change objectives, and treating our islands with fairness, replacement of these vessels must now be a priority.”