Ferry Failure Condemned By MEP

14 November 2006
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has condemned the Executive'sfailed ferry policy following the announcements that no one has bid forthe Gourock to Dunoon ferry route currently operated by CaledonianMacBrayne.

Speaking from Strasbourg Mr Smith said

"This has been a slow motion train wreck from start to finish, entirely of the Executive's own making.

"I feared from the start that the Lib Dem and Labour Executive'smismanagement of this affair would make the whole business a nonsense no sensible company would want anything to do with. Yesterdays announcements prove all the Executive has done is destabilise the services.

"I fear that the Commission will only be able to conclude that theExecutive has wilfully undermined this tender and hold them liable for it, and the poor old Scots taxpayer will have to pick up the tab again.

"The news that Western Ferries is considering reporting the Executive to Audit Scotland and is alleging that Cal Mac was given an unfair advantage is hardly surprising.

"This is just another failure of the Labour and Liberal administrationstransport policy. An SNP government will engage positively with the EUand with all ferry operators to ensure a viable and sustainable future for ferry routes on the Clyde and beyond."