Transport secretary backs Wills’ ferry discount

The Scottish government’s secretary for transport, Michael Matheson, called transport promises from SNP candidate Tom Wills “very reasonable” and vowed to discuss them with him if he is elected.

Mr Matheson was the latest mainland MSP to make the trip north as part of the upcoming by-election campaign, and he said that he had been “very impressed” with the support that Mr Wills had accrued in the isles.

Earlier in the election campaign, Mr Wills declared that he would fight for a 20 per cent islander discount for cabins on the NorthLink ferries and also raised the prospect of foot passengers on inter-island ferries becoming free.

Those claims, Mr Matheson said on Friday, were “very reasonable” and he pledged to give them “due consideration”.

He said he had already discussed the proposals with Mr Wills and was open to continuing these discussions if Mr Wills was elected.

Asked if these conversations would be off the table if the Liberal Democrat candidate Beatrice Wishart was to win the election instead, Mr Matheson proclaimed that he had “always had an open door approach” to opposing MSP’s and would not be opposed to discussing terms with Ms Wishart instead.

He said that he thought Mr Wills “has produced a very clear way to improve the lives of his constituents” with his transport plan.

And while he admitted the party were facing a “tough task” to win this seat, generally considered to be the safest in Scotland, he said he felt the SNP had a “very good chance” this time around.



Add Your Comment
  • john ridland

    • August 24th, 2019 14:25

    Just another roond aboot wy o buy,n your votes,
    Then the tax payer has to pick up the TAB…!

  • John M Scott

    • August 24th, 2019 16:07

    Since when did Scotland become a one party state ? ( rhetorical).

    What happens if Wills or Wishart don’t win? Would Michael Matheson respect the representations on behalf of Shetland Islanders of a Scottish Conservative and Unionist ?

    It is the duty of the Transport Secretary to listen to all Members of the Scottish Parliament, regardless of party. There are no “opposing” members when one holds an Office of State.

    Or is this just another political stunt deliberately engineered for polling day on Thursday? (Again, rhetorical )

  • Archie Burleigh

    • August 24th, 2019 21:08

    I alluded to the fact that the Shetland Islanders should ask themseves what is this invasion of black and yellow activists really after? This was in my post to the story about the deputy first minister visit on 19th August 2018.
    The SNP are only in business for one reason and this topic has never been discussed during their recent campaign on your shores. If they achieve their goal of separation from the United Kingdom then what becomes of your very precious Zetland (Shetland) Act of 1974!

    As I said be very aware of what you are really voting for!


    Archie Burleigh

  • Wayne Conroy

    • August 26th, 2019 12:45

    “The Scottish Government is also committed to implementing an RET-equivalent that includes cabin costs on the Aberdeen route but we have been prevented from doing so by the Pentland Ferries complaint.”
    says Tom Wills in reply to Lib Dems. Pentland Ferries lost their court case back in April and their appeal over a month ago. Does that mean that the Scottish Government will now be implementing their plan? If so why does anyone have to “fight for a 20 per cent islander discount for cabins on the NorthLink ferries”

    The only fight going on here is a pathetic tit for tat between parties for power meanwhile the people of Shetland are the ones who are suffering high fares.

    Seems to me just more hot air and false promises from the SNP…


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