Council Meeting Transport Minister Tomorrow

Patrick McLoughlin, MP

Patrick McLoughlin, MP

A delegation from our islands’ Council will travel to the mainland today, ahead of talks with Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin on Thursday.

He’s called the meeting to discuss transport links.

A Department for Transport official wouldn’t go into detail but simply told us that he would be in discussions in Devon and Cornwall aimed at, “improving things.”

Chairman of the Council’s Transport committee Dudley Mumford, and Strategic Investment Manager Diana Mompoloki will meet his team in Falmouth and it’s likely that discussions will centre on proposed improvements for Penzance and St Mary’s quays.

Our Council has expressed concern about the linking of the mainland and St Mary’s projects in case the Penzance scheme fails to meet funding deadlines, jeopardising European cash for both projects. The St Mary’s scheme is thought to be advanced but Penzance project leaders say their bid is now also ready for funding.

It’s unlikely that subsidies will be discussed in this meeting as the DfT has said consistently that no subsidy will be available for our sea and air routes while a commercial operator, the Steamship Company, provides the service.

Yesterday afternoon, Scilly MP Andrew George said he had not decided whether to attend the Ministerial visit.