Date lodged: 24 September 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what recent progress has been made in agreeing a long-term model of fair funding for internal ferry services provided by Orkney Islands Council.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 23 October 2018
The Orkney and Shetland Internal Ferries Working Group, which includes the Local Authorities, HITRANS, ZetTrans, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Transport Scotland, continues to meet on a monthly basis.
The group agreed that the immediate focus should be on establishing the Councils’ funding requests for 2019-20, with consideration of the long-term solution to follow. The requests for 2019-20 have recently been established and are being considered by Ministers through the budget process, and I recently met the leader of Orkney Islands Council, Councillor James Strocker to discuss this and other matters of interest to the Orkney Island Council.
Outline Business Cases have recently been commissioned to assess the long-term options for specific routes and the Working Group will discuss the long-term model of funding and responsibility.