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PE01472: Inter-island air services


Petitioner: Councillor Gordon Murray and Councillor Rae Mackenzie on behalf of Protecting Inter-Island Transport Links


Date Lodged: 08 March 2013

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review its national policies on the provision of lifeline air services between Scotland's islands, consider the impact on local communities by the withdrawal of subsidies which enable such air services and to develop air transport public service obligations in the Hebrides and throughout Scotland.

Petition History:

The petitioners have collected 1,010 offline signatures.


15 March 2013: The Committee took evidence from Councillor Gordon Murray, Councillor Rae Mackenzie, and Councillor Donald Manford, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and local authorities where public services obligations operate. Link to Official Report 15 March 2013 (438KB pdf)

28 May 2013: The Committee agreed to invite the Leader and Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to give evidence at a future meeting. The Committee also agreed to write again to Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council. Link to Official Report 28 May 2013 (471KB pdf)

3 September 2013: The Committee took evidence from Councillor Angus Campbell, Leader, and Councillor Norman A Macdonald, Convener, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The Committee agreed to write to NHS Western Isles and to invite the Minister for Transport and Veterans to give evidence at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 3 September 2013 (587KB pdf)

12 November 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government has stated that it has no plans to review the number and range of air services subject to PSOs; and that the removal of subsidies by a local authority is a matter for that local authority. In closing the petition, the Committee agreed to write to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Link to Official Report 12 November 2013 (538KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

Importance of inter islands flight to islanders and visitors.

How can Local Authorities expect support for better transport links with mainland Scotland when they cut their own inter island links with peripheral communities?

Do local authorities take account of the economic impact of withdrawal of the inter island air service, especially in terms of tourism and local businesses?

I have already been told by my audiologist that she may not be able to continue coming to Barra as she now has to go from Stornoway to Glasgow and then Barra.

Jeanne Grant

19:18 on 08 Mar 2013

This service should never been considered for a cut. It is a basic service that any island population should expect. The service needs to be protected from the panic reactions of councilors and officials until they have properly investigated the options. The council urgently need to reestablished their priorities for spending public funds on behalf of island people, and seek their support.

William C Blacker

18:01 on 08 Mar 2013

Typical council Bureaucrats they forget who they are in their jobs to serve and who money they use. It is never the case when they squander public tax payers money to serve there own ends. You'll never find a counciler in this day and age that will look for a more constructive solution to a problem instead they look for the quick fix that only serves their short term objectives. We the public elected you the western isle council to come up with better solutions than this, one that benefits everyone not your council careers. For once take a better look at all the options and find the correct solution and for once earn those over inflated pay packets you all cash without a thought to whether you have done you job right.

Roddy Currie

14:42 on 08 Mar 2013

It is about time those so called councillors, who voted against the inter island service, put there political views to one side. and help the people who elected them.

Michael Maclean

11:13 on 08 Mar 2013

When Comhairle nan Eilean was established, the councillors of that time worked very hard to bring the Islands close together and I must applaud them in achieving this very competently by improving transport links throughout the Islands. The links ie public transport, better ferry links and better air links however, sadly there seems to be an element in our present Coucil who seem intent on reversing the good work done.By cutting the air service is this the first step?

Catherine Macneil

10:41 on 08 Mar 2013

These links are vital to the islands and to ensuring equity of opportunity and healthcare throughout the area. No one expects parity for rural & island areas with cities but some extra help to achieve reasonable standards must be the aim. To lose reduce these services is a very backward step.

Cathy Macinnes

21:36 on 07 Mar 2013

If we want Scotland to develop as an integrated independent country in the future, communications and transport links must be improved, not taken away, In my Scotland, the people of the island communities will be as much a part of my everyday life in Clydebank as someone who lives just down the road. The links between the islands are therefore doubly important. This is a piece of nonsense and independence can't come soon enough so that we can properly start "Project Scotland". Kindest regards, David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot

David Milligan - a very Sovereign Scot

12:19 on 07 Mar 2013

These councillors know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. I for one will not forget what they have done. at the next council elections.

Alex MacDonald

11:41 on 07 Mar 2013

Native of South Uist. This service is imperative for the Islanders.Cutting this service will definatley cost lives, can you live with that??

Alistair Morrison

12:11 on 02 Mar 2013

I do not mind 50 minutes on the 'plane.

Jamie McIntosh

22:48 on 01 Mar 2013

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