Ferries are vital to national transport links. This is why the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee is undertaking an inquiry into ferry services in Scotland and will be meeting at Lerwick Town Hall on Monday 28 April as part of this.
Committee Convener Patrick Harvie MSP said: "The issue of ferry services in Scotland is understandably of significant interest to the population of the Shetland and Orkney islands in terms of their economy, tourism and environment. The Committee want to hear about everything from the frequency, cost and availability of ferries to how they fit in with local transport links.
“We think it is important that local people in Lerwick and Shetland have a chance to see and hear first-hand the Committee’s inquiry in action. We are also keen to hear the views of ferry users in the Orkney Islands which is why we plan to hear from a range of local community groups who use both internal and external ferry services, regional transport partnerships and local authorities serving both Orkney and Shetland.”
If you would like to attend the meeting please call the Parliament’s Visitor Services on 0131 348 5200. You would then collect your tickets on the day from Lerwick Town hall where the meeting would open at 1.30pm.
The Committee will spend a second day island-hopping round the Shetland Isles smaller islands using the internal ferries. They hope these mini-fact finding trips talking to ferry users and staff will further inform their inquiry.
As part of the committee’s inquiry a public meeting has already taken place in Oban, while individual committee members have conducted fact-finding trips to Dunoon, Gourock and Arran . Members will also hold discussions via video link with groups from Lewis, Barra, Tiree and Uist on 22 April and hope to visit Mallaig on 20 May.
Further updates on the progress of the Committee’s inquiry will appear on the Committee’s homepage on the Scottish Parliament website. The Committee hopes to publish a report by Summer 2008.