Thursday, 14 August 2014

FRIST press release following Minister's announcement



Press Release 14 Aug 2014

FRIST warmly welcomes the announcement of Government funding towards improvements and extension of St. Mary’s Quay and is pleased that it is to be completed by next March, prior to the visitor season. The proposed dredging at Penzance Harbour is also welcome and it’s hoped that this will enable access at all states of the tide. 

FRIST commends the proposed improvements for passengers at St. Mary’s but regrets that this is not being matched at Penzance where passengers will continue to suffer when it is raining or when spray overtops the harbour wall. Whether “this funding will make a huge difference to the people of Scilly and also to visitors to the island” as stated by Patrick McLoughlin during his visit to Scilly on Wednesday, remains to be seen. Improvements to the infrastructure for air and ferry will certainly help, but the prospect of an affordable, reliable, all year round transport service still remains a target for the future. 

As stated at Wednesday’s press conference, the Secretary of State did not refuse to look at underwriting the service, but wanted to see what difference the new runways at Land’s End airport will make during the coming winter. FRIST believes that the new runways should solve the water-logging problem experienced over the past two winters, and thereby improve reliability, but will not help in fog nor with the issue of affordability. “Infrastructure developments will always help”, said FRIST co-ordinator, Marian Bennett, “but without service improvements and lower fares, transport will remain the biggest challenge facing the economy and welfare of Scilly.” 

Marian Bennett 
FRIST Coordinator/Spokesperson
14 August 2014

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