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.


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