FRIST Campaign Could Jeopardise Land’s End Runway, Says Transport Vice Chair

scillonian 2012The vice chairman of the Council’s transport committee says FRIST’s campaigning could jeopardise plans to hard surface Land’s End airport.

Cllr Steve Sims says the campaign group, who want subsidised winter sailings of the Scillonian III, are pursuing a Public Service Obligation for the off-season service.

But funding the operations, which wouldn’t be commercially viable, could prove a challenge and Steve says if a year-round boat is forced, it removes the argument for a hard runway at Land’s End.

He feels locals would prefer the option to make the air service more reliable.

Steve accuses FRIST of being selective with the information they’ve used to support their campaign.

He says their public statement claiming that we’re a step closer to a winter boat trial gives the impression that the goal posts have moved when, he says, “the sports ground is closed for the foreseeable future.”

Steve feels the FRIST campaign could be doing more harm that good and four councillors have told him they’ve heard from people on the mainland who believe the islands are effectively cut off.

And while he says he knows that is not FRIST’s intention, people do misread the coverage.

Steve acknowledges that FRIST has worked hard but he says he’d rather they pause their campaign or better still pursue more useful goals, like supporting the hardened runway at Land’s End or the quay extension at St Mary’s.

We contacted FRIST for a comment yesterday but have not received a response.

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