Isles representatives respond to “overwhelming” uptake on Northlink petition

Isles representatives Alistair Carmichael MP and Beatrice Wishart MSP have responded today to the overwhelming uptake of their petition to reverse Northlink’s cut to the Islander Food Discount on lifeline ferry services. Less than 24 hours after the petition launch, over 1,200 people had signed the petition calling on Northlink to change course.

Commenting on the support, Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael said:

“The response to our petition, less than a day after launch, shows the overwhelming strength of feeling in the community about this decision by Northlink – and I would encourage as many people as possible to sign up to the challenge. The company appears to have forgotten in the run up to Christmas that Scrooge was not supposed to be a role model!

“As much as the content of Northlink’s action, people are rightly angry about the way that they have gone about it, without consultation or even any meaningful notice. That is no way for a lifeline service provider to behave. If they think this is a fair policy change then the least that they could do is defend it directly to the community.”

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said:

“Islanders have felt a sense of unfairness about this and shown they will not stand for it. There was no consultation with local stakeholders by NorthLink or Transport Scotland who knew this change was coming. I would encourage everyone to sign this petition to show NorthLink and Transport Scotland this is not the way to do things.

“People are not choosing NorthLink through a sense of loyalty, nor is it necessarily a reflection on the service they encounter. People need to travel and it is a long journey to the Mainland. Those on restricted budgets should not be forced to choose between eating and anything else when travelling on a lifeline service.”

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