Comhairle Welcomes Speedy Government Response

Following the First Minster’s speech earlier today, Comhairle Leader Roddie Mackay confirmed that Transport Scotland are now putting in place the measures the Comhairle was looking for regarding travel to and from our islands.

Mr Mackay, said: “Our Transportation Chairman, Uisdean Robertson, has been liaising with colleagues at Transport Scotland over the weekend and would like to thank them for their help in reaching this solution.

Transport Scotland (TS) will work with ferry operators to support the expected announcement that all non-essential travel to islands and remote locations should stop. Non-island residents will be encouraged to leave the islands and non-residents will be unable to buy tickets for travel.

Transport Scotland will agree a consistent mode of implementation such as evidence of principal address being required at point of sale and they are currently working up clear guidelines which will be published on their own website.

Mr Mackay, continued: “I am pleased to say that Transport Scotland are moving very quickly on this matter and they will be speaking with ferry operators today as well as engaging with the Unions. 

“As Transport Scotland have control of messaging across the country via the Traffic Scotland system and social media, once they have a common message agreed about avoiding any unnecessary travel they will share this with all stakeholders as well as using the existing Covid-19 page at Traveline Scotland, in order to get the message out to those looking to travel by public transport.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has reacted so swiftly to our calls for travel restrictions to be put in place and we hope these measures will contribute to the safety and well-being of all of us on these islands.”