VIDEO: MSP says emergency tug is essential for Western Isles

Highlands and Islands MSP David Stewart has this week written to the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, to stress to him the need for an Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) on the west coast.

Mr Stewart was in Stornoway today (Wednesday) meeting with local organisations including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Stornoway Port Authority. Among the issues discussed was the lack of ETV vessel covering the west coast of Scotland.

The Labour MSP said: “This is crucial for the Western Isles. If a vessel breaks down or has an oil leak, it is eight hours anyway to come from Orkney.” He said this presented a major risk to the environment.

During his visit he also met with representatives from Community Land Scotland and discussed the need for there to be more local control of Crown Estate assets.

He held a meeting with representatives from the business community to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding the removal of RET for commerical vehicles. As Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee which met last week, Mr Stewart said a petition submitted by the Outer Hebrides Transport Group (now called the Outer Hebrides Commerce Group) was under active consideration and the committee had agreed to look at it again after the economic impact study has been completed.

Watch our video clip to find out more from Mr Stewart.