Ferry fuel bill concern eases off

FEARS that the council was facing a hike of up to £1.2 million in its fuel bill for ferries and buses this year have eased with the recent drop in the global oil price.

Transport head Michael Craigie reported this week that the extra cost from rising prices earlier this year would now probably be less than £1m if prices remain around the same level. Fresh calculations are currently being done.

He told the infrastructure committee on Tuesday the council is exploring the premiums it pays for its fuel to see if it can find ways to cut costs. Infrastructure chairman Allan Wishart said it might be possible to combine forces with other transport operators to gain better reductions.

Councillor Betty Fullerton questioned whether an annual fuel contract was better than what some companies do, which is to play off fuel suppliers against each other each time bulk fuel needs to be bought.

Councillors are to get a comprehensive report in October detailing possible changes that could be made to transport to cut running costs. In the meantime, a temporary focus group, which includes seven councillors, has been set up to monitor the work and examine the proposals made to make savings.


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