FRIST Transport Group Engages Political Lobbyist

The group pressing the government for subsidy of transport links between our islands and the mainland has engaged a political lobbyist to push parliamentarians.

Marian Bennett, who is a member of the advisory group of the Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport, or FRIST, says the volunteer will provide free, professional advice on who to approach in government and how to promote their cause.

As an independent group FRIST is free from council restrictions – councils are not allowed to employ lobbyists.

Ten members of FRIST, six from Scilly and four from Cornwall, met at St Mary’s Hall Hotel on Friday. Marian says MP Andrew George is also assisting.

As well pushing for similar freight and passenger fares as the Scottish Isles, FRIST want a guaranteed service through the winter, now the helicopters are finishing. They say Skybus is more susceptible to fog, cross winds and waterlogging than the helicopters.

They also claim that the improvements at Land’s End airport won’t meet FRIST’s overall objectives.

The group’s aims will be sent to transport minister Norman Baker in time for a meeting with a delegation of islanders on September 10th. He’s the MP who refused to fund the route partnership project, and next week, the chief executives of the Council and Steamship Company, together with the land steward of the Duchy of Cornwall, will meet him in London to try and encourage him allow St Mary’s quay developments to progress without being tied into the Penzance scheme.

That mainland project is likely to fail its European funding deadline.

No FRIST or Council members are going to the meeting, but FRIST will write before the meeting to ask for the Penzance and Scilly schemes to receive funding.


3 Responses to FRIST Transport Group Engages Political Lobbyist

  1. Adam Morton,St.Martins September 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I believe BIH carry arround 80.000 skybus 70.000 and scillonian lll 47.000 ish not sure if this is visitors or fares.Yes the boats numbers will go up slightly but it wont result in them all going skybus either a certain number just wont come which is very worrying.Its not just the price some of its convenience and some of its comfort.Not all have the stomachs for the boat trip and some dont have the time.To drive or train it to PZ will take half a day at least then your too late for the ferry so you stop the night in PZ next day you catch the ferry and arrive for your holiday middle of the day.thats the best part of two days off each end of the trip.The draw of the helicopter was that you arrive in PZ board it and in 90% of cases your there same day on the right island.To make the ferry a real option it will have to be an early and a late sailing to cater for all travlers times and a lot more comfort.The temtation to just board a ferry in your car for a £30 rtn accross channel must be quite high,somhow we have to be competetive.

  2. Ginnykrauer September 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    The helicopter is a vital link for these islands, its inhabitants and the many visitors who escape to them each year to be renewed and refreshed before returning to busy lives.

  3. D Grose September 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    If the heliport is moved from Penzance area, less people will not stay / visit Penzance as well as the Isles of Scilly. So the economy of Penzance will suffer as well as Isles of Scilly.

    If a new harbour is not built the ship will not be able to cope with extra passengers. The Scillion is 40 + years old and will need replacing soon. The Islanders have to rely on small boat in winter which is extremely uncomfortable for passengers!

    The economy and infracture of the Islands is dependant on good air and sea links.

    The current links are too antiquated for the expectations of today’s travellers. Take the helichopter out of the equation and the Isles will be back in the early 20th century as far as travel is concerned.

    People will not travel to the Scillies if the transport is not updated.
    If people have to travel to Lands End to access transport this could well reduce the number of holiday bookings, it is at least 6 hours drive from London. The time to get to the west country from the rest of England should not be under estimated – Cornwall is a very long and large County

    Tresco and Bryher will be worse hit with no helichopters as there will only be flights to St Mary’s then a taxi and then a boat, not something you need at the end of a long drive or train journey. Do people really need this ?

    It seems unfair in this day and age for the Islands not to be awarded a grant for harbour improvements. and development of a new heliport