Crisis plea made to Prime Minister

The leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has turned to the Prime Minister with a plea to help resolve the islands’ “connectivity crisis”.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 8:11 am
Roddie MacKay highlighted the decision to centralise air control, for example, as one of the decisions being made which work against the interests of the islands

Councillor Roddie MacKay takes his lead from a review by Sir Peter Hendy on transport connections across the UK. “I am fully in agreement with Sir Peter when he states that the quality and availability of transport can support economic growth, levelling up and an improvement in quality of life”.

Mr MacKay tells Mr Johnson: “Unfortunately, the critical lifeline transport links our businesses and our communities depend on are presently under unprecedented stress and strain”.

On HIAL, the council leader writes: “Regarding our air services Highlands and Islands Airports Limited have a set of ill-founded and badly developed proposals to centralise air traffic control in Inverness.

“This will remove a significant number of technically skilled and well-paid jobs from one of our most economically challenged communities. Their proposals fail to demonstrate economic efficiency and fail to adequately address safety concerns.”

On ferries, he added: “I appreciate ferry services are devolved, but in the context of Union Connectivity and the levelling up agenda I believe there may be an important role here for the UK Government to help bring some new thinking and new urgency to a situation that is having a hugely detrimental impact on our community, our economy and on our connectivity with the rest of the UK”.