Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has asked the Scottish Government’s
Transport and Islands Minister, Humza Yousaf, to approach the European Commission
to request the introduction of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) on the Benbecula
– Glasgow air route.
The daily plane service is operated commercially without a subsidy.
However, granting PSO status would allow public funding to support the route - after
tendering - provided the finances were available.
Such a contract could control ticket prices, service levels and timetables to provide
an improved service for the Uist community.
Mr Humza Yousaf previously stated that there are no plans to introduce the measure.
Mrs Grant said “Travel to Benbecula can be very difficult and largely depends on
the commercial decisions of the operators, presently Loganair.
“Island routes need to be protected as they are vital for the sustained economic
development of these fragile areas.
“With depopulation of these islands occurring, we need to bring security and assurance
to those living in the area and, equally, to those considering moving to the area.”
Call for formal contract on Benbecula - Glasgow plane service