§ Mr. Russell Johnston (Inverness)
With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a petition, signed on behalf of the Broad-ford Branch of the Scottish Women's Rural Institute on the Isle of Skye by four ladies—Ola Robertson, Catrina MacDougall, Mary Campbell and Lucy Sanderson-Taylor. The preamble to the petition reads as follows:To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, the Humble Petition of Residents of Broadford.The petition shewethThat the Kyle ferry being the main route to the Island of Skye, is run at the exorbitant 1539 charge of 95 pence per car, with additional 10 pence for the driver and 10 pence for each passenger in the car, for a five-minute crossing. Such a charge inhibits residents from visiting families and hospitals, and from attending educational, recreational and community events, which are linked with the mainland. While the islanders suffer the imposition upon them of extra-high prices on all goods and supplies because of increased transport charges, these ferry charges also, by deterring visitors from tours and holidays on this beautiful island, ensure that there is a decrease in income for them.Wherefor, your Petitioners pray that the Kyle Ferry should be freed from this exorbitant charge.And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.Those are the formal words, but they represent bitter discontentment on the part of the people of Skye and many visitors to the island. The ladies who signed this petition organised a similar petition, which attracted 13,000 signatures. High ferry charges directly affect everyone on the island, and it is felt that this ferry, which is owned by the State, makes a considerable profit out of raising the cost of living, and that its fares should at least be reduced or, at best, removed.
With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I shall deposit the petition in the Bag.
§ To lie upon the Table.