Highlands & Islands

Extra Scottish government funding for HGV ferry fares

The Scottish government has sought to reduce the ferry fare increases being faced by commercial hauliers in the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree.

Operators of heavy lorries were angered by the withdrawal of their road equivalent tariff discounts last year.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said he was listening to their concerns.

The government is adding £1.9m to the financial support it already provides to lessen the impact of the withdrawal of RET.

Norman MacDonald, convenor of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said the funding was a step in the right direction but was still not enough to help HGV operators.

Mr Brown said: "We are aware of views from some hauliers on the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree routes of the impact of the transitional arrangements we have put in place to move commercial hauliers to non-RET fares, and we are listening."

He added: "The additional investment will provide a further financial cushion and ensure fare increases for those hauliers next year are in line with the rest of the ferry network, which has been set for summer 2014 at 2.7%."

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