Tag Archives: transport

Tiree To Glasgow Flights Every Day

Tiree is to get an air service fit for the 21st century as the Scottish Government promises that two, rather than just one flight per day will extend over the next four years.

Dr. John Holliday, the island’s GP and Convenor of the Tiree Community Council said, “This is great news for Tiree! The extra flights will provide a step change in transport to the island, and will be a major boost to Tiree’s fragile economy. They will also be a considerable help for those needing to leave the island for specialist medical attention. “

Last November islanders voiced grave concerns about the lack of capacity on the air link between Tiree and Glasgow, particularly in summer months when increasing numbers of tourists travelled to the island. Islanders, who turned up in force to a public meeting with Transport Scotland last November, demanded a better air service which would cope both with tourism and increasing demand from local residents. Some islanders were having difficulty getting to Glasgow by air for hospital appointments and vital treatments, including cancer care.

Derek Mackay, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands and Islands, has now confirmed that the minimum specifications of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) for the Glasgow to Tiree air service from October shall guarantee two flights a day Monday to Saturday all year around and a dedicated Sunday flight all year around, a significant improvement on the existing PSO specification for Tiree. Mr. MacKay said, “These air links are vital to the local economies of Campbeltown, Tiree and Barra and I want to make sure they are delivering the best service possible for the communities they serve.” He went on, “We are committed to supporting our remote communities and these improved air links will help do that”.

Tiree Community Council Vice Convener John MacCaskill added, “The Scottish Government listened to the Tiree community’s concerns and they are now delivering an air-service fit for the 21st Century for what is a remote and isolated Inner Hebrides isle. This will make a big difference to the social and economic development of Tiree. We were due to get a better service for this summer to cope with demand, but we now have an air service fit for purpose which has been extended for the next four years.”

The full details of the PSO Tendering Document for the communities of Barra, Campbeltown and Tiree will be released to the air industry on Tuesday 7th April 2015. The airline awarded the new PSO will run the air services to Glasgow from late October till the autumn 2019.

The hope now for the Tiree Community is that the airline awarded the new PSO will offer an early morning and late afternoon air service to Glasgow, particularly on weekdays, to maximise the potential of the much improved life-line air service.

Twin Otters for Tiree

Two new aeroplanes have been ordered to serve the lifeline air service to Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown.

The Twin Otter aircraft have been specially selected as they are able to land on Barra, the world’s only scheduled service with a landing strip on a beach.

The contract to supply the new planes to link the islands with Glasgow has been awarded to Canadian company Viking Air Limited. The route is officially designated as a public service obligation (PSO) and would not be commercially viable without support from the Scottish Government. Viking Air Limited will provide the two Twin Otter DHC6-400 aircraft. No figure for the contract has yet been disclosed, but the tender was between £5 million and £7 million.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said he was “delighted” that a supplier had been secured. “We expect to take delivery of the new planes next May and for them to be up and running on the routes shortly afterwards. By purchasing our own aircraft, we will also encourage more competition when the contract for operating the PSO routes comes up for renewal. We will be looking at ways to enhance these services and will engage with passengers, local businesses and other interested parties to look at potential improvements. These new planes mean our PSO routes to Campbeltown, Barra and Tiree will continue to be reliable and attractive to travellers. The communities served by these flights can now look forward to seeing new planes operating on the routes next summer.”

Subsidy has been paid by the Scottish Government on the Glasgow-Tiree and Glasgow-Barra route since the mid-1970s.

Tiree Resource Club New Mini-Bus Arrives!!

Photo by Ian Sharp

Tiree now has a new community bus. After two years of fantastic support from Jane Isaacson, the Resource Club were awarded a grant to purchase a mini bus and employ an outreach worker.

Resource Club is very pleased to welcome Christine MacDonald into the post and hope she enjoys all the challenges ahead! The bus is very much a community resource and is available for all community groups to use but please bear with us over the next couple of months as we work out the best method of managing this so everyone is happy.

The club is currently looking at instigating a library run. Individuals are welcome to book the bus for appointments but we are trying to combine trips as fuel is expensive. It would be good if community groups could identify drivers within their ranks as we will require copies of clean licences for insurance purposes.

We would ask that in all instances that the ring-and-ride service is utilised before the community bus as this is the principal transport service on the island.

Anyone who wants to come to the Resource Club for a meal and good company please contact Christine on the number below and we will arrange pick up. Many thanks and we will be publishing the guidelines for usage in the next edition. Meanwhile, Christine’s contact number is 07776422476.

Extra 2.5mil for island freight ferry fares

cargo containers

Following the meeting last week in Edinburgh with hauliers from the Western Isles and Tiree, the Scottish Government has announced an extra £2.5m in subsidised funding for freight traffic on island ferry routes. This is in addition to the extra help previously announced meaning that all vehicles up to six metres would qualify for RET.

Transport minister Keith Brown said the move was designed to bring fares for all hauliers into line and ensure no fares rise by more than 50% in a single year. The government said it would also lobby Westminster on issues that fell beyond its remit and work on a six-month study into the broader impact of its ferry fares policy.

The extra funding will cover ferry services to Coll, Tiree and the Western Isles. Mr Brown said “We are determined to support our island and remote communities and underlined this last week with new arrangements for small commercial vehicles qualifying for RET on routes to Western Isles, Coll and Tiree. Today we are providing more evidence of our commitment in support of those communities and all hauliers serving those communities. I had a constructive meeting with hauliers last week and one particular concern raised was that previous discount schemes had benefited some hauliers more than others. By capping the rises all hauliers on any given route will pay the same. Our ambition is to see greater connectivity right across the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree, and our pilot has shown the scheme to have had a very positive impact on local economies.”