MP calls for RET in Harris and Barra Sounds

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WESTERN Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) is available on the Sound of Harris and the Sound of Barra.

Mr MacNeil said: “I agree with Alasdair Allan MSP that RET should be expanded on the Sound of Harris and the Sound of Barra. Many constituents have seen the benefits RET has brought to the islands from trans-Minch sailings.

“Such is the effect on both tourism and especially commercial vehicles, that we in the Hebrides have coped much better with this recession compared to other recessions. This is certainly due to RET making our sea routes more equivalent to road journeys or closer per sea mile to other distant islands from the mainland, such as Shetland.

“It is a shame that the economic benefit of RET does not go to the Scottish Government but instead goes to the Treasury in London.

“It is a long held ambition to see RET expanded and the Sound of Harris and the Sound of Barra. RET must be kept and if possible expanded, mindful of the current climate where the Tory Westminster Government still has Labour support to enable it to cut Scotland’s budget.”