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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

RET (again!)

Good to see that progress on RET is happening - and I suspect that this is largely due to the influence of Donald Manford, Chair of Transportation.

He expects the RET pilot to happen next Summer, which would be excellent news, but to make sense it needs to cover a long period and to cover the busy and the quiet times, and to see the impact on other routes.

And it will preclude a Sunday ferry.

Two cheers for the Government, and three for Mr Manford.


Anonymous said...

You haven't read the small print Angus.
Apparently they are looking at only the Stornoway - Ullapool route and full implementation will take place a year after the pilot. Just in time for Westminster elections. How convenient.
In the meantime we all have to pay top $$$ for every other route throughout the islands.
Hip Hip Hooray nobody

Anonymous said...

Angus - disagree with your conclusion that RET will preclude a Sunday ferry service. The Isle of Lewis runs at capacity in the summer - Saturdays especially. This means means inconvenience to you & I (try booking a car on Saturdays in July/August). It also means lost business to Calmac and local economy. In effect RET is a method for justifying lower fares for socio-economic reasons. Let's assume the Isle of Lewis on current timetable is the pilot route and fares are reduced by 30%-50% for a trial period. What's likely to happen? More demand - some new business and some transferred from Uig-Tarbert - unless that route is also included in the pilot - meaning more government funding and not very happy bunnies in Uist and Barra, quite rightly. Even if all these routes were in the pilot (unlikely) the result would be even more frustration for you on Stornoway-Ullapool at peak times and even more lost business from would-be visitors. Solution? Pilot RET on Oban-Castlebay-Lochboisdale and possibly also on Stornoway-Ullapool freight ferry, which apparently runs at around 50-60% capacity over the year. Untill we get a more suitable ferry or ferries the peak capacity problem on Stornoway Ullapool is a no brainer - 7 day service. Neater all round don't you think?