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Ferry fare review

FERRIES UNIT FREIGHT REVIEW NOW PUBLISHED.

The principles for the new ferry fares: simplicity, comparability and consistency
Following their commitment in the ferry plan, the Scottish government Ferries unit has now published its comprehensive review of freight fares policy.

The aim of this review is to develop a new freight fares structure which is simple, transparent and does not advantage one part of the network over any other part.
At present the complexity of the existing fares system and lack of established rationale on determining fares structure inhibits the effectiveness of future policy changes on fare-setting.

The basis for fares must have an established rationale, and be relatively simple for a user to understand as well as bringing administrative benefits to the operator, argues the review.

The basis for future contracts
These changes will form the basis for implementation in future Scottish Government ferry contracts. (The next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract will begin in October 2016).

Rolling out of RET will bring lower fares
The Ferries Unit also states that the rolling out of RET to throughout the remaining islands by October 2015 should bring significantly lower fares for passengers, cars and coaches.

New definition of commercial vehicles.
As hauliers will benefit from a change in the definition of a commercial vehicle from 5m in length to 6m, this will allow small commercial vehicles up to 6m in length (existing weight, width and height restrictions apply) to qualify for the significantly lower RET car fare, rather than the commercial vehicle fare.

Additional concessions for commercial vehicles carrying hay, livestock and shellfish 

  • Hay & Livestock Returning lorries carrying hay or livestock returning lorries travel free when empty, other than a charge to cover the pier dues.
  • Shellfish Returning lorries carrying hay or livestock returning lorries travel free when empty, other than a charge to cover the pier dues.
  • In addition, an exemption to the weight limit for Light Goods Vehicles less than 6 metres in length, carrying live shellfish, to allow them to qualify for the non-commercial vehicle rate.

See Policy document here.

S.I.F asks: is this enough? Particularly for smaller islands, where the cost of importing building materials combined to the cost of bringing in builders can add up to a third of total costs for construction bills.

Get in touch with Kirsty,  our development officer to give us your opinion!