Sunday, 11 April 2010

Ferries - the seadog that has not barked

News Release: Immediate Use
11 April 2010

Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands called Northlink 'the sea dog that hasn't barked' over cost savings.

Following talks he held on Orkney with stakeholders late last week he said,

"Amidst the sound and fury of protest, the ferry company at the heart of the efficiency savings turmoil is silent. It is the sea dog that hasn't barked."

"The need for every public service to save cash is generally agreed. Yet amidst political protest by LibDem politicians, they have not suggested one solution to the spiralling costs of running the Northlink operations. Contracts which were set up before the SNP Government were elected must be put under the microscope."

Mr Gibson went on…

"Sort out our ferries would be the best slogan to apply around the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick service as it would be for Stromness to Scrabster. As summer timetables are due to kick in, as a new contract for an extended period of years looms, I am seeking clarity from Northlink ahead of the major consultations that are in train."

"they must make public the means to find £1 million savings that could avoid a slower service. Islanders should be told. The political scaremongers must also come clean with the voters. How should Northlink attract more business, how can it install more reclining seats for those not able to access inadequate cabins, how can they attract more travellers in the shoulder season of the tourist year and how can they allay the fears of hotels and B&Bs from tourists arriving any later at night And how can they save fuel."

"These are issues at the heart of the ferry affray. The SNP members are working to find solutions, not dish out blame!"

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