FRIST Secure Meeting With Transport Minister

The Scillonian III

FRIST, the group campaigning for more affordable and reliable transport links to the islands, has received an invitation to meet with the Minister for Transport, Norman Baker.

Marian Bennett, co-ordinator of FRIST, said their request to meet the Minister was based on the immediate need for a lifeline service when the helicopter service stops in November.

FRIST say they want to express ‘in strong terms’ their concerns about the cessation of the helicopter service to the islands and its impact on the community and economy, particularly in the winter when the only passenger service is by fixed wing aircraft, susceptible to cancellations through weather or a waterlogged runway.

And while they say some changes have been put in place to transport sick and disabled people on small aircraft, the next few months will determine whether these are adequate.

Marian said, “Our principal long term objective is to secure a service for passengers and freight that is reliable, regular, all year round and comparably affordable to that provided in the Scottish Isles.”

In his letter to FRIST, Mr Baker recognised the efforts underway by the Steamship Company to meet demand and ongoing work to secure another helicopter operator for the route.

But he added, “Nevertheless, we want to ensure that transport links to the islands can be safeguarded for the longer term and I would be happy to meet with you to hear your concerns.”

Mr Baker expressed his view that it would be helpful for the Council of the Isles of Scilly to be formally represented in the FRIST delegation.

You can sign up in support of FRIST at www.frist.org.uk

 



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