Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

News for island travellers

Car ferryRET scheme extended

I’ve long since given up the dangerous pastime of commenting on ferries. There are far too many people with their own agendas and objectives for these services, and some seem to think the whole service should be geared around their personal needs. These types have been pretty nasty to me in the past, and I reckon they’re a subset of the folk who can afford to live on an island, and commute daily to the mainland for work, and if the timetable doesn’t suit their daily travel plan, they appear to think it should be altered to given them extra time in bed in the morning, and get them home for dinner every night – even if the seas are crashing with 50-foot waves.

RET, or Road Equivalent Tariff, was introduced to some ferry routes as an experiment a few years ago.

This had been campaigned for some years in the past, without appearing to gain any favour with those in power, but now that the trial years have passed, it seems that it is to remain in place, and even be extended to other routes:

BBC News – RET ferry fares scheme extended to inter-island routes

Lower price ferry fares scheme is extended | Highlands & Islands | STV News

In the past, the announcement of RET for the routes which were to be trialled brought howls of pain and anguish from representatives of those islands not included, where the attitude was one of “We will lose out to those with RET, so if we’re not getting it, no-one will and we’re going to challenge its legality”.

As I said – ferries can be a nasty business that brings out the worst in some, so I’m just noting this, and not expressing an opinion.

I’d also have to say that I am mildly surprised that this has come about so quickly, as I am more used to watching such things drag on for years and years, as arguments bounce back and forth, and if asked, I would have expected more years of trial, and more complaints.

Fuel discount for islanders

Although the matter has been allowed to drag on for so long that the discount is trivial, and has been eaten up by the excessive tax increases that have taken place during that time, islanders will be able to benefit from a reduction in fuel duty from March 2012, when they will be given a 5 pence per litre discount for fuel consumed on the islands.

The scheme will cover the Inner and Outer Hebrides, islands in the Clyde, the Northern Isles and the isles of Scilly.

The Government has stated that fuel retailers will be required to pass on the full saving of the rebate on petrol and diesel to customers. Retailers will be able to claim the rebate from HM Revenue and Customs on fuel purchased from January 1, so they do not suffer cashflow problems in passing on the discount in March.

Almost as soon as the news was released, it was followed by claims that this island-based discount does nothing to help those living in remote rural mainland areas, where fuel prices are said to be just as high.

Fuel discount for islanders from March | Scotland | STV News

BBC News – Isles fuel price cut from March 2012, Treasury says

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December 1, 2011 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , ,

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