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Scottish Government agrees to seek clarification on ADS scheme

Leaders from Scotland’s three islands councils met with transport minister Keith Brown today, to press for the reinstatement of the Air Discount Scheme (ADS) for business travel.

Orkney Islands Council convener, Councillor Stephen Hagan was joined by Angus Campbell, leader of Western Isles Council, and Josie Simpson, leader of Shetland Islands Council, for the meeting.

The minister agreed to write to the European Commission to clarify:

  • Whether the ADS scheme, under EU legislation, can include business travel
  •  If discounted travel for the voluntary sector can be included if business related travel remains excluded
  • Whether special permission can be granted for the scheme to operate again as it did before 1 April 2011, when the exclusion of business travel was introduced

Councillor Hagan, who led the meeting, said: “Today’s discussion was very helpful and informative, with a comprehensive exchange of views as to why the islands councils feel ADS needs to be looked at again on behalf of our communities.

“I feel the minister is now fully informed of the importance of affordable travel for businesses and public and voluntary organisations in the remote areas of Scotland and that we have given him a good basis on which to challenge the current state of play.”