PRESS RELEASE: Family run ferry operator frustrated by subsidy delay
Local family ferry company Pentland Ferries has said today that it is frustrated by the delay in implementing the Scottish Government’s passenger subsidy. The company have said that they want the Scottish Government RET scheme to reduce passenger fares to go ahead as soon as possible and are just waiting on confirmation that the scheme is legal:
Andrew Banks, Managing Director and Owner of Pentland Ferries said:
“We want this scheme to go ahead as soon as possible, it is good for Orkney and will help us attract more passengers. All we are now waiting for is confirmation that it’s fully legal and then we can get on with implementing it. Our lawyers have told us that because we are a commercial operation and currently receive no subsidy whatsoever, we have to be 100% sure that this scheme complies otherwise our whole business is at risk. We are not sure why it is taking so long to get simple confirmation.
“Although not one penny of the proposed subsidy comes to us, it goes directly to the passenger, we would be forced to pay it all back if it doesn’t comply, that could ruin us and we can’t take that risk. All we are asking for is for the Scottish Government to check that it’s legal with the EU and UK and then we can get on with it.
“We have today asked for a meeting with local MSP Liam MacArthur to see if he can do anything to get things moving forward on our behalf. This is extremely frustrating but as a family run, fully commercial Orcadian business employing 70 people and with exciting expansion plans, we cannot risk our business when we are being told that the scheme may not be legal.”