Barra flight link subsidy faces axe

AN ISLAND MSP has attacked plans by councillors which could end flights between Benbecula and Barra's famous beach runway.

Western Isles Council's transport committee voted to scrap a 211,000 annual subsidy for daily air links between the two island communities as part of transport budget cuts. It would mean the 1,200 residents of Barra would no longer have a link to catch the onward flight to Stornoway and Inverness.

Councillor Roddie Mackay said half the flights were occupied by sightseeing tourists wanting to experience landing on Barra's unique beach runway without even setting foot on the island. But councillor Peter Carlin warned the council risked stranding islanders when the ferry failed to sail, particularly in winter.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The committee voted 9-4 to support the cut, although it will be debated by the full council early next year before any final decision is made.

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said he was "staggered" by the move, adding: "I understand the financial pressures on the council, but the decision reached in the transport committee today has serious implications for people in Barra."