GOVERNMENT INDIFFERENCE OVER FERRY CAPACITY
Industry’s dismay at Government indifference over ferry capacity. Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson was today accused of putting concerns over no-deal Brexit arrangements for seafood exports above the needs of island communities that rely on vital transport links to get their produce to the mainland.
Shetland seafood industry leaders warned that jobs and growth objectives were at risk from the Scottish Government’s failure to take account of freight capacity issues in tender documents for the forthcoming North Isles ferry contract.
Sheila Keith of Shetland Fishermen’s Association said: “Only six months ago, seafood shipments worth over £2 million had to be left on the pier in Lerwick as a result of inadequate freight capacity.
“It’s ironic that Transport Scotland is flagging up legitimate concerns over no-deal ferry links with Europe, but is falling down so spectacularly on ferry links between Shetland and mainland Scotland.
“We are keen to help the Scottish Government meet its Ambition 2030 targets for seafood production, but Transport Scotland is effectively undermining that policy.”