Serco abolishes group discounts

Serco NorthLink has confirmed it will be abolishing group discounts onboard the ferries Hjaltland and Hrossey.

The discounts, which previously applied to sports clubs, schools and community groups, are to be replaced with a sponsorship scheme, valued at £100,000 a year and available on application to the same groups.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott received written confirmation of the change from Transport Minister Keith Brown this week.

Mr Scott said: “Shetlanders were told by the SNP Government that the new Serco service would be better. For sports and community groups that is now untrue. Northlink operated a good discount scheme and they had sponsorship too. Serco have abolished the group discount and the SNP Transport Minister has agreed to that cut.

“So much for encouraging islanders to get involved in the Commonwealth Games. Serco’s service to local people is now worse than we enjoyed with Northlink. This is desperately disappointing but truly demonstrates the SNP’s approach to the Northern Isles. I hope the SIC will raise this with SNP Ministers in Lerwick on Monday.”

According to Serco the new sponsorship scheme has “a formal application process to ensure that any discount or free travel is applied fairly and appropriately”.

Applications are being sought for the first of two funding rounds in 2013. The deadline has been extended until 27th March.


Add Your Comment
  • Harry Dent

    • March 21st, 2013 17:10

    Rather hypocritical of Mr Scott to bemoan the effects of privatisation, when his party is just as committed to it as the Tories, Labour, and the SNP.

  • Douglas Young

    • March 22nd, 2013 10:02

    How does Tavish Scott turn a £100, 000 annual money pot into an attack on the SNP?

  • Stewart Mack

    • March 22nd, 2013 13:35

    Thats the beauty of politics, whatever happens you can find a way of turning it into “the other sides” fault. all the while the public loose out. £100,000 pot is fine and dandy but they have to apply for some of the cash – and what then happens when it runs out?

    I have said many times there are only 3 ways to provide a cheaper tender 1) reduce staff costs – Yep Serco have done that, 2) increase revenue – Yep £10 breakfasts are the tip of the iceberg or 3) Reduce the service. well the latter remains to be seen but we all remeber the every second day sailings of only a few years ago. .

    One thing is certain Serco shareholders will not lose out in the deal. Best Value does NOT equal lowest price


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