View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 5 March 2012

Picture post - 5 March

Stornoway Coastguard Station on a windless afternoon, with the tanker Grena in the background.

Francis Street, Stornoway

Meeting of the Bands

Monday 5 March

Another bright and sunny, if slightly nippy, day here in the Outer Hebrides. For the time being the last nice day, as we are on warning for high winds overnight. The freight ferry Muirneag has been cancelled - it usually departs Stornoway at 11.30pm, to return at 8 am the following morning. In other words, the shop is going to be empty tomorrow.

It has transpired that the Scottish Government is intending to slash parts of the Air Discount Scheme, ostensibly on account of demands from the European Union, but more likely to cut costs - of £2.7m per annum. Under ADS, islanders could purchase airtickets to a mainland hub at a discount of 40%. Bearing in mind that your average return from Stornoway to Glasgow costs about £160, ADS would take a useful £60 off. Our airfares are quite high at the best of times, and what with the cessation of reduced ferry fares for commercial vehicles, the economy of these islands is being adversely affected.