For immediate release
30 April 2010
Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has lodged a series of questions at Holyrood on the costs of running Northlink ferries.
Stocks of the new book 'Pentland Hero' by Roy N Pedersen have sold out in the first print run. It raises major questions about many aspects of ferry contracts and competition to serve these islands.
"Since an in-depth ferries review is due from the Scottish Ministers it imperative that we know as much about the costs of ferry services as possible. I have been acutely aware of the superficial claims made in the wake of the Iceland volcano ash crisis about the uses made of the 'Hamnavoe'. Orkney citizens and those in Shetland and the Western Isles need to know that truly lifeline ferries can be delivered at reasonable costs.
"Roy Pedersen's book notes that a Private Finance Initiative arrangement was struck by the LibDem/Labour Executive in 2002. I'm sure that this contract to lease the three Northlink ferries which runs to 2015 is the starting point for some forensic analysis. I'm more attracted to sort out our ferries, than to shout 'hands off'. I'm sure most Orcadians will feel the same."
Written Questions lodged Thursday 30th April:
S3W-33471 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the annual costs are of leasing the three ships in the Northlink fleet which commenced in 2002.
S3W-33472 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the annual cost of bunker fuel has been in each year from April 2003 for the three ships in the Northlink fleet.
S3W-33473 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether the quality of oil burned by the three ships in the Northlink fleet has ever changed since 2003.
S3W-33474 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what the annual figures are for (a) passengers, (b) cars and (c) commercial vehicles carried on each ship in the Northlink fleet since April 2003.
S3W-33475 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many days have the Scrabster to Stromness and the Stromness to Scrabster services been interrupted by adverse weather conditions in each year since April 2003.
S3W-33476 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive on how many days have the Aberdeen to Lerwick service and the Lerwick to Aberdeen services been interrupted by adverse weather conditions in each year since April 2003.
S3W-33477 Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive how many times has the scheduled call at Kirkwall in the Aberdeen to Lerwick Northlink service and the Lerwick to Aberdeen service been abandoned since April 2003.