Friday, 26 October 2012

Transport Minister “is on the (Islanders') case"

Lord Berkeley instigated a short debate in the House of Lords on 24 Oct with the question:

 “To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure a lifeline passenger service to the Isles of Scilly following the closure of the helicopter service on 1 November 2012”.

There was a spirited debate with contributions from a number of peers including Lord Teverson. Lord Greenway, presumably speaking in support of the Government, raised the issue of cargo vessels “one of which sails three times a week during the winter, and which carries a few passengers”. This is clearly a peer who has never experienced the pleasure of sailing in the Gry Maritha as a passenger – an option only pursued by the truly desperate.

Lord Attlee, trying to avoid direct comparison of the transport needs of the Isles of Scilly and Scottish Isles stated “Scotland is different because it involves much more complicated and wide-ranging services that cannot be operated on a commercial basis”. Many, given the facts, would dispute this claim.

Earl Attlee ended the debate saying:   My Lords, I assure the House that my honourable friend Mr Norman Baker takes these matters very seriously and is on the case.

You can read the full debate here (Hansard)

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