RET ferry fares plan extended

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on December 1, 2011

The Scottish government has announced that it intends to extend the scheme that is designed to bring down costs of ferry travel.

Known as RET, the road equivalent tariff, the scheme will become a permanent feature among Western Isles, Coll, and Tiree routes after a successful pilot run. Services that cover Sounds of Barra and also Harris will later be included.

Additionally, RET is to be extended to Colonsay, Islay and Gigha routes from October 2012 onwards with a pilot scheme to start in Arran from October 2014. Ferry fares are set at prices that reflect the cost of travelling the exact same route as part of the scheme.

The Western Isles’ local authority, known as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, commented at a press conference that it had made campaigns for RET to assume a permanent place in the industry, while also demanding that the scheme apply to services across Harris and the Sounds of Barra.

Transport Minister Keith Brown spoke to the press and told them of how the pilot scheme had boosted both tourism and local economies. It was added that the government intends to continue RET on Tiree, Coll, and the Western Isles, which includes coaches and small commercial vehicles. In the future, RET will be rolled out to other west coast destinations, as well as the Clyde islands.

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