As Shetland’s SNP candidate for the August 29 by-election I’m determined to improve life for all islanders. That, for me, means cutting travel costs to and from the islands.
We all know that making transport more affordable would work wonders for life in Shetland. Working with the SNP Scottish Government, I have a five-point plan to make it happen:
- Free travel for foot passengers on all SIC ferries
- A 20% Islander Discount on NorthLink cabins
- A three-year freeze on NorthLink fares
- Increase in peak-season mainland sailings to meet freight demand and reduce pressure on passenger capacity
- Ensure a long term extension of the Air Discount Scheme
The SNP has already delivered a 50% discount on flights, 20% discount on NorthLink fares and provided £5m year for SIC ferries.
Over the last few weeks I’ve heard people’s concerns about the rising costs of island life and had many discussions about what we can do to address this. The plan I’ve put forward today is the first step towards securing lower travel costs for Shetlanders.
We need a local ferry service that meets the needs of our islands and a link to the mainland that is affordable for families. Making inter-island ferries free for foot passengers would help the poorest in our society and encourage greater use of public transport and car sharing. I believe that we should be able to secure additional funding for this progressive change.
I can’t solve these problems overnight, but if elected as your MSP, I’ll be at Nicola Sturgeon’s door on day one to make sure the Scottish Government backs my plan to cut travel costs. I’ve already taken the opportunity to bend the ear of senior figures in the Scottish Government and it’s clear to me that they’re interested in new ideas to help islanders.
It won’t be easy with the Tories slashing the Scottish budget year on year, but by working with the Scottish Government instead of against them I am confident it can be done.
The Liberals have had 70 years. I’m asking voters for 18 months to prove myself and show Shetlanders what can be achieved by an SNP MSP. I will stand on my record in 2021 when the choice will again be for islanders. Of course I’d hope to represent Shetland for years to come. But, vote for me now, and let me prove what can be done.
Huge turnout today at our SNP campaign hub to launch our Shetland by-election campaign. An amazing response from local residents in Lerwick town centre who are ready for positive change! 🇪🇺🏴 #tideisturning pic.twitter.com/I6kM219YQf
— Tom Wills (@tprwills) July 27, 2019