Overwhelming response for two-tier ferry ticket system

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More than 800 responses have already been received as part of a Mull survey gauging feelings on a Danish ferry ticketing system that could help guarantee spaces for islanders.

The idea of the system that comes from the island of Samsø, a similar size to Mull, seems to be ‘overwhelmingly well supported’ Mull and Iona Ferry Committee chairperson Joe Reade told members of Mull Community Council last week.

The Samsø service runs a two-ticket system – one for locals and other regular users like commuters and delivery drivers and then another for visitors.

CalMac is due to bring in a new IT ticket system this summer but islanders say running it on a ‘first come, first served’ booking basis is prejudiced against them.

‘The idea has also been picked up by Arran which will be running a similar survey and the same question is going to be asked on Coll and Tiree. As soon as our survey is finished we will lobby the transport minister and argue for it,’ added Mr Reade.

Mull community council convenor Tom Nelson said there had been positive talks between CalMac and farmers about holding sailing bookings for them in the autumn so they can be certain of getting stock to sales and shows.

‘This would be a good step forward,’ said Mr Nelson.

Farmers who can not get a space on the main Craignure – Oban sailings have to go across to Lochaline and drive the long way round, taking animals on a much longer journey.

Also on the Mull Community Council agenda was reports of littering, damage to a wall at Kilpatrick Graveyard and sheep worrying in Bunessan.

Organisers behind the Aros Park walled garden restoration project asked for and were give the community council’s support. People using community transport from remote Ross of Mull can get some of their costs back, depending on receiving benefits – some money is also available as compensation for overnight stays if attending the mainland for hospital appointments or treatments, the community council meeting heard.

And Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP)’s chief officer Fiona Davies is being invited to join a future meeting to talk to members about care levels on Mull.

Letters will also be sent out to newly-elected councillors to make them aware of issues most concerning the community council, in particular education reform and the processing of Argyll and Bute council offices.