AN ORKNEY ferry company is appealing a Court of Session ruling in April which rejected its claims that the Northern Isles ferry tendering process is unlawful.
Family firm Pentland Ferries, which runs the non-subsidised service between Caithness and South Ronaldsay in Orkney, said the level of subsidy in the Scottish Government’s next Northern Isles ferry contract amounted to unlawful state aid and would distort the market.
While the Court of Session in Edinburgh rejected the legal challenge, Pentland Ferries is now appealing the decision.
Managing director Andrew Banks said the company is not wanting the Stromness to Scrabster route scrapped, or that Pentland Ferries receives public funding from the Scottish Government.
But he said the company wants “fairness” in the government’s funding of the Northern Isles ferry service, which Banks said threatens his business.
The next Northern Isles ferry contract, worth some £370 million in subsidy over eight years, is currently being tendered by the Scottish Government.
The service includes routes connecting Aberdeen, Kirkwall and Lerwick, as well Scrabster to Stromness.
Pentland Ferries, however, still has two outstanding complaints to the European Commission relating to the decision to tender the next Northern Isles ferry contract and plans to introduce road equivalent tariff on the routes.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News