Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, is welcoming the news that Comhairle
nan Eilean Siar (CnES) is to tender for survey work at the South Ford causeway.
The council is drawing up a feasibility study which includes the possibility of creating
an additional larger opening in the causeway which links South Uist and Benbecula.
Five members of the same family were tragically killed on the causeway during the
2005 storm when their cars were swept from the road into the sea.
Council plans survey at South Ford causeway
27 January 2017
The Crown has decided that there should not be a fatal accident inquiry in relation
to the deaths prompting an angry response at the length of time the community has
been left in limbo and the time taken to have required works carried out.
Creating a larger opening - which could cost up to £20 million - could reduce the
likelihood of flooding in the area.
Islanders believe this is the only solution which will address the matter to prevent
another similar tragedy from occurring.
David Stewart previously met with Iochdar Community Council last year to discuss
Mr Stewart said he was told by Cabinet Secretary responsible for flood prevention,
Roseanna Cunningham, it was up to the council whether a larger opening should be
Mr Stewart continued: “I met with the leader of CnES again last month and have contacted
him again this week asking what progress is being made on this.
“I am advised today that CnES is, this week, going out to tender for survey work
to be carried out at the causeway to consider the possibility of creating an additional
larger opening in the causeway.
Mr Stewart added: “This has to be welcome news. The CnES has also asked Scottish
Government to support additional funding for this project but so far no commitment
has been received.
“Given the unacceptably long period of time the community has been left in limbo
following this tragedy, I am writing to the Scottish Government again to ask if the
Cabinet Secretary will meet with the community and commit funding for the works as
an exceptional needs case.”