Councillors Shelve Transport Survey

Councillors have decided to put a questionnaire, which could strengthen the islands’ case for government assistance with travel costs, on the back burner for now.

It’s because so many transport issues are in flux.

Dudley Mumford told members of the new transport strategy committee that many islanders wanted a year-round sea link, but opinion on the matter hasn’t been tested for around ten years.

Robert Dorrien-Smith said that winter sailing was a commercial decision but Marian Bennett replied that it wouldn’t be up to the operator if the aims of the so-called ‘Scottish report’ came about.

The government would put the service to tender and offer a subsidy.

Councillor Dorrien-Smith asked whether the goal was to have a survey that could be of political value and said that if somebody stopped him with a clipboard and asked what he thought of the islands’ transport he’d know exactly what to say.

Robert asked whether the council was expecting 90% of people to say that the whole transport infrastructure was “falling apart and falling down.”

Chief planner Craig Dryden recommended deferring any decision to undertake a survey, so the purpose of it could be defined, allowing the information to be used effectively.

Diana Mompoloki said that questions have to be carefully constructed so they weren’t leading, which could invalidate responses.

The £1,000 set aside to prepare and distribute and analyse the survey wouldn’t be enough she said.

Diana warned that it couldn’t be done in a “half arsed way” if it was to be credible and she couldn’t just produce pie charts from the responses. Any survey would need expert input.

Amanda Martin felt a University department could help, but Councillors agreed with Craig Dryden’s advice to defer it until they can define its purpose.


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