Action group’s seat at the table denied

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Claims by the Arran Ferry Action Group they have been recognised as a stakeholder for matters regarding the Arran ferry service with the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland have been officially denied.

It follows a statement made by first minister Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions at Scottish parliament last week.

The first minister was responding to a question from Arran MSP, Kenneth Gibson, when she stated: ‘I will ask the minister for transport to write to Kenny Gibson with more detail about those investments and the work that we and Transport Scotland are doing with stakeholders, including Peel Ports Group, North Ayrshire Council and the Arran Ferry Group, to improve services and infrastructure specifically on the Arran route.’

As a result the Arran Ferry Action Group released a statement which said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that after two and half years of campaigning on behalf of the
residents and ferry users of Arran, we have finally been granted a seat at the table.’

But their hopes were dashed after Transport Scotland admitted there had been a mistake in the Scottish parliament’s draft official report in referring to the Arran Ferry Action Group.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: ‘There was an error in the Scottish parliament’s draft official report. The Arran Ferry Committee is the recognised body on the island for engagement on ferry issues.’

However, the action group are refusing to accept this, with a spokesman saying: ‘Transport Scotland cannot correct a statement made by the First Minister; only she can, according to the rules.’

  • See also page 6.