Passengers face rise in ferry fares

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Fares are to rise on some ferry routes following a review of a subsidy scheme.

A cap of 10.6 per cent has been placed on services linking the mainland with the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree from next year.

The change, which will also affect Islay, Colonsay and Gigha, updates the road-equivalent 
tariff (RET), which links fares to the cost of travelling an equivalent distance on land.

The average rise will be 8.2 per cent for passenger, car and small commercial vehicle fares.

It is among a number of announcements in the Scottish Government’s ferries plan, which also commits to new services and road improvements.

A passenger and car ferry will be tested in summer between Campbeltown and Ayrshire via Arran, and improvements are planned for services linking Oban, Coll, Tiree, the Small Isles, Mull and Cumbrae.

An upgrade to the A83 
between Campbeltown and Kennacraig will be considered.

Despite the focus on ferries, a weekend air service is also to be tried out between the Mull of Kintyre and Glasgow over the next two summers.

Transport minister Keith Brown said the plan identifies 15 new vessels to come into service by 2025, costing £295 million.