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The SNP Government has been accused of kicking the issue of a second ferry into the long grass, following an announcement that taxpayer-funded consultants will be hired to conduct a review of ferry services to the Western Isles.


The review, which was announced by the Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, will take around 12 months to complete.


This is despite recent criticisms over the capacity of the current MV Seaforth vessel which currently serves the Ullapool to Stornoway route.


Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron pointed out local SNP MSP Alasdair Allan had described the issue as a “priority” more than six months ago.


Mr Cameron said: “It is galling that the SNP Government considers the word “priority” to mean well over a year and possibly even up to two years before anything actually happens.


“Since I have been elected, the issue of capacity on the MV Seaforth has been one of the most talked about issues by islanders, and yet we have the SNP Government kicking it into the long grass by dragging the issue out till at least 2019.”


He added: “If Alasdair Allan and Humza Yousaf went out and spoke to local businesses and residents in Lewis, they would be able to hear people’s concerns directly and take decisive action, instead of hiring expensive taxpayer-funded consultants to state the obvious.”


SNP accused of avoiding second ferry issue

6 February 2018