Specialist publisher on all matters maritime, Lloyd’sList.com, carried an informative item on the plight of Islanders. The items strap line was “Loss of helicopter service raises questions about future passenger sailings”
The item quoted referred to Lord Bradshaws speech and the comment that the ferry and helicopter service were “running on borrowed time” and might not be replaced commercially. On the last point the article stated the peer has been provided horribly right. The debate in the House of Lords was sparked by Lord Berkeley's question to the Government about the future of transport links to the Isles of Scilly.
The specialist publication went on to compared the service provided to the Isle of Islay and St Mary’s succinctly:…….
Islay is served by CalMac’s ro-ro Finlaggan, built at Remontowa Yard, Gdansk, in 2011,with capacity for 500 passengers, 85 cars and 10 trucks. There are three to four sailings a day, year round, return fare £12.35 ($19.25).
Scilly (StMary’s) is served by the lo-lo Scillonian III, built at Appledore,North Devon, in 1977,with capacity for 600 passengers. There is one sailing a day in the summer, four a week in April and October, and none in the winter, return fare £95.
Asking why Scilly treated differently to the Scottish isles the article quoted Lord Berkeley’s explanation:
Westminster sees Scilly as a holiday destination for the rich and as transport links have survived as a commercial enterprise, it can carry on that way. However, tourism statistics show that while visitor numbers have shot up in Cornwall in recent years, they have fallen in Scilly. Scilly’s economy is hugely reliant on tourism, but its 2,000-plus inhabitants are not on holiday, are far from rich and have to earn a living.
“Throw Scilly a Lifeline” published by LloydsList.com 16 Aug 2012