Free ferries to the Scottish Islands?

As the newly elected Scottish Executive plans to scrap tolls on the Forth and Tay road bridge there have been calls to abolish fares on ferries to the Scottish islands.  I suppose it is a logical progression, if you can cross a body of water free in the central belt of Scotland why not to an island? It would certainly boost tourism to the islands and increase the mobility of the island population, goods and services on the islands should drop in price if the additional transport costs were stripped out.

photo by unconnected

In fact I don’t think that the current fleet could cope with demand if you could travel on the ferry without charge. However it would require a large investment from taxpayers and there are so many other demands on the public purse. Islanders do already receive subsidies on ferry travel. What’s your opinion, would you go to the islands more often ferries were free? I’m fortunate in that I have visited the Hebrides several times in 2004 – 2005, all expenses paid by my employer. It is really beautiful there, if you get good weather but it’s a bit too remote and focused on outdoor pursuits for my personal taste.  If that type of holiday appeals you can book your ferry here.
[tags]ferries, Scottish ferries, free ferries[/tags]

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About Karen Bryan

Hello, I'm Karen Bryan, I created Europe a la Carte in 2002 to highlight the best places to visit in Europe with travel tips, photos and no fluff reviews. I’m also an artist; my artworks are often inspired by my travels