Why is Skene so secretive (James Whitworth)

I was delighted with your article on page seven the week before last, “Holyrood candidates continue verbal sparring”.

Danus Skene’s claim that the North Boats are horrendously expensive ignores the fact that removing tolls on estuarial and island bridges (Forth, Tay, Erskine, Skye) is horrendously expensive, as is the untolled second Forth crossing.

Without such figures such rhetoric is not worth the paper it is written on. Why is Mr Skene so secretive about figures. And could we have a table for the costs of each and every subsidy for road equivalent tariffs, to get actual figures, not just vague rhetoric.

While there may be a need for discussion over the NorthLink contract, could not subsidies to Shetland and Orkney be given now for road equivalent tariffs? Why not?

Is the lack of SNP MP, MSPs and councillors relevant here? A fair question.

Can Mr Skene promise that the day after he is elected, internal fares will be subsidised as is on the Clyde ferries, the Islay and Jura ferries, etc. If not he should not make statements unbacked by SNP policies.

James Whitworth
2 Old School,


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • December 14th, 2015 10:59

    Indeed, James.

    There are all these secret formulae for dishing out the subsidy goodies which always seem to work to Shetland’s disavantage.

    Skene argues the vessels deployed a “ludicrously expensive”? Frankly, in term of comfort I don’t see much difference from the Western Isles ferries I’ve been on, although, having sailed the two hours from Mull to Barra in winter I would suggest those vessels would be inadequate for Lerwick/Aberdeen conditions.

    When my granny was going to the gutting in Yarmouth and Lowestoft, they slept in the hold beside the beast pens with people spewing all over the shop. That was likely pretty efficient in cost per person but I wouldn’t like to go back to it, today.

    So what is it about the vessels that makes them “ludicrously expensive” and what vessel specification would Mr Skene recommend?


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