Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) will be rolled out to all of the remaining ferry routes in the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) network in October 2015, Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced.
This will offer passengers, cars, small commercial vehicles and coaches significant fare reductions on a further 14 ferry routes from the start of the 2015/16 Winter Timetable.
This extension of the RET scheme also marks the delivery of a key commitment made in the Ferries Plan, published in December 2012.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “We promised to extend RET to the remaining West Coast and Clyde islands within the term of this Parliament, so I’m delighted to announce it will go ahead in October 2015.
“This is a key commitment in the Ferries Plan that will be welcomed by the communities who use these services, as well as visitors to the islands.
“We have already seen the positive impact of RET on other ferry routes around Scotland – this further roll out is expected to bring similar economic and tourism benefits.
“While the fares for the 2015/16 Winter Timetable have still to be set, announcing this date now will allow local businesses to plan ahead for the introduction of the RET pilot.
“We would expect a reduction in fares to lead to an increase in demand on these services, particularly during the summer timetable. We will therefore work with members of the affected communities to find ways of managing this demand.
“The introduction of RET on ferry services to Arran in October 2014 will also provide valuable information that will help us with demand management around the roll out to the rest of the CHFS network.
”The Scottish Government remains committed to assessing the affordability of ferry travel to and from our island communities, with the aim of bringing in cheaper fares for islanders, tourists and businesses.”
The routes that will benefit from the roll out of RET from October 2015 are:
- Berneray – Leverburgh (Sound of Harris)
- Barra – Eriskay (Sound of Barra)
- Sconser – Raasay (Raasay)
- Mallaig – Armadale (Skye)
- Mallaig – Eigg – Muck – Rum – Canna (Small Isles)
- Oban – Craignure (Mull)
- Tobermory – Kilchoan (Mull)
- Lochaline – Fishnish (Mull)
- Fionnphort – Iona (Iona)
- Oban – Lismore (Lismore)
- Wemyss Bay – Rothesay (Bute)
- Colintraive – Rhubodach (Bute)
- Largs – Cumbrae Slip (Cumbrae)
- Tarbert – Portavadie