Date lodged: 24 July 2017
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on discussions with Argyll and Bute, The Highland, Orkney and Shetland councils and SPT regarding bringing their ferry services under the control of Transport Scotland.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 15 August 2017
Following a commitment in the Ferries Plan 2013-22 that the Scottish Government is willing to consider taking on responsibility for local authority lifeline ferry services, Transport Scotland has been in discussion with several local authorities regarding their internal ferry services.
We are not currently engaged with The Highland Council regarding any of their ferry services. Initial discussions did take place shortly after the Ferries Plan publication, however The Highland Council decided not to pursue a transfer further.
Discussions with Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, Argyll & Bute Council and SPT are at different stages, however there has been extensive engagement between the authorities and Transport Scotland officials and comprehensive information gathered and exchanged. This positive engagement will continue and decisions on future responsibility of ferry services will be taken in due course.