MEP To Spend The Day As A Ferry Marshall

06 August 2009
SNP MEP Alyn Smith will today (6 August) spend the day working as a Marshall on Norfolkline's Rosyth- Zeebrugge ferry.

As part of his annual work experience programme, Smith will spend the day at the ferry dock in Rosyth helping Operations Manager, Grant Russell and his colleagues with their daily tasks. His role will involve: assisting passengers through the ferry terminal, collecting tickets, helping passengers with any queries as well as ensuring passenger safety.

Work experience is an annual event, with Smith using the first two weeks of the parliamentary recess to go work in a variety of industries which have crossed his desk, and has seen him spend two days at sea on a trawler out of Mallaig, a day in a slaughterhouse in Aberdeenshire, with a vet in Shetland, a binman in Glasgow and a dairy farm in East Lothian, amongst others.

Mr Smith and Councillor Douglas Chapman actively worked to save the service since the announcement it was to be discontinued. The SNP duo worked closely with the Scottish Government and made representationsto the Flemish Government, Visit Scotland and the European Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajani to save the ferry route.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr Smith said:

"I'm used to spending a lot of time in the air going backwards and forwards to Brussels, so it will be a nice change being docked on dry land and getting some fresh Fife sea air in my lungs!

"Having campaigned hard to secure the continuation of this service, I am looking forward to working closely with Forth Ports again. Rosyth is the strategic gateway for ferry links to continental Europe and promotes the fundamental principle of freedom of movement. In the six years this route has been operating, it has carried nearly one million passengers, 4.2 million tonnes of freight and in 2005 generated around ÂŁ3.4m of tourism expenditure in Scotland.

"It's clear that we have a cracking facility here which contributes to the fight against climate change but we need to strive to encourage more Scots to use the service. I hope that by spending time as a Marshall and speaking to travellers I will get a taste for ways that we can promote and sustain the service at home and abroad in the year of the Homecoming."

Veerle Jacobs, Passenger Services Manager, Norfolkline said:

"Alyn's visit is welcome, particularly in light of cross-border co-operation and an extra pair of hands is always a great help! Quite seriously though, we are proud that a politician of Alyn's stature is taking such a proactive interest in our business and this new route."