Crofters Being Hit Hard by Tolls
The crofting industry here on Skye, already in a fragile state, is being hurt by the loss of concessions which the hauliers who transport the livestock and animal feed to and from the island used to have on the previous ferries.
SKAT have sent the following petition to the newly formed Scottish Parliament in a plea for help in alleviating their plight:-
To the Scottish Parliament:-
FLOAT CONCESSION FOR SKYE BRIDGE
We, the undersigned, declare that: tolling on the Skye Bridge is an unfair and unjust burden on our communities and particularly so at this time for crofters whose livelihoods are currently under severe threat. Given that justification for the level of tolling on the Skye Bridge has been based on ferry rates; The Petitioner therefore requests in the first instance that the Scottish Parliament negotiate with Skye Bridge Ltd so that the concession given by Caledonian MacBrayne to livestock floats on the Kyle-Kyleakin ferry whereby these floats were not charged a fare when empty will be honoured on the Skye Bridge and therefore afford some relief to our beleaguered crofters and hauliers.
In the second instance and with that same aim, we request that the Scottish Parliament negotiate with Skye Bridge Ltd to re-instate the historical concession given by Caledonian MacBrayne whereby hay haulage was charged half fare. In the third instance, we request that the Scottish Parliament negotiate with Skye Bridge Ltd and institute a similar half fare (toll) concession for livestock feeds. The successful negotiation of these concessions would benefit crofters in reduced charges; would benefit hauliers in reduced costs and would indirectly benefit the welfare of livestock on the islands.
Meanwhile, SKAT claim that their human rights are been infringed if the Lord Advocate remains a member of the Scottish cabinet. They claim that Lord Hardie faces a conflict of interest in presiding over anti-toll cases which could damage the government of which he is part.
The campaigners say his position is morally and ethically untenable.
In support of the above petition, SKA T is holding a Demonstration on Saturday 6th November at 11.00am to be followed by a Rally in the Kyleakin Hall at 1.00pm. Crofters, hauliers and the general public are called upon to attend. For more information contact: 01470 552212
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Copyright © Ray Shields, 1999.
Most recent revision, 28 October 1999