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Graham Simpson

Graham Simpson2 posts
15 Mar, 2022

Anger at Scottish Government over Calmac ferry secrecy

Makes Statement

In the Scottish Parliament, Shadow Transport MSP Graham Simpson expresses his frustration at the lack of answers over how much longer it will take to get the Scottish ferries ready.

 Well, I’m asking a question in this chamber, and I expect to get an answer and the minister has not made an attempt to answer the question, which is by how long the ferries are delayed. It is not acceptable. We’re at a crisis point here. Just yesterday, only 13 out of CalMac’s 29 routes were operating normally. Islanders are at their wits’ end. There’s no slack in the system, so when a ferry breaks down, the knock on effects are horrendous. We need a steady pipeline of new ferries being ordered.

Business Minister Ivan McKee responds:

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that Scotland’s islands have got the connectivity. That’s why we are making that substantial investment into ensuring that that is indeed the case. The details of the impact of that cable issue are being worked through at the moment and we will report back when the robust information is available as to the implications in terms of time and cost of that particular issue.

The Turkey order had been part of a £580 million investment in further expanding the ferry service. In contrast McKee’s predecessor, Graham Dey had asked for £1.5 billion over 10 years. A cross party visit to the shipyard planned for January had been cancelled and rescheduled for April 2022 . A freedom of information request to get an answer for when the two ferries will be ready, failed to be answered within the required 20 days and has been escalated to an appeal.

1 Feb, 2022

Staff want to work from home

Makes Statement

According to a Holyrood filing, civil servants in transport authority want to work from home three to four days a week. Meanwhile, Freedom of Information laws also disclosed that only 5% of staff went into the office at some point between the start of the pandemic and the end of November. Transport Scotland spokesman:

Clearly a wider conversation is happening across all employers at the moment on what their working practices will be in the future. In line with the expectations set out by Ministers and national guidance, we are taking a gradual and phased approach to our move to hybrid working. For now, working from home will continue to form a significant part of the mix of most people’s arrangements. We are currently working on what our approach to hybrid working will look like but being  supportive of our staff, supporting our own business and the wider economy, and of course our wider policy position on active travel, are key considerations.

Shadow Transport Minister Simpson:

It’s a pretty damning indictment of Scotland’s transport network that those responsible for running it would rather work from home than navigate the traffic jams and delayed trains to get to their office. It’s also dispiriting for those workers across Scotland who are dependant on roads and rail to get to their work. People need transport they can trust to get them into the office on time, and those charged with the running of the network should be pulling out all the stops to make this happen.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Graham Simpson, created by Newslines contributors. Make it grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more