The Scottish government has acted to reduce the ferry fare increases being faced by commercial hauliers in the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree by adding £1.9m to the financial support it already provides.
Hauliers were angered by the withdrawal of the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) discounts last year. Transport Minister Keith Brown said he was listening to their concerns and the £1.9m is to lessen the impact of the withdrawal of the RET.
Norman MacDonald, convenor of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said the funding was a step in the right direction but was still not enough to help HGV operators.
Mr Brown said: “We are aware of views from some hauliers on the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree routes of the impact of the transitional arrangements we have put in place to move commercial hauliers to non-RET fares, and we are listening.”
He added: “The additional investment will provide a further financial cushion and ensure fare increases for those hauliers next year are in line with the rest of the ferry network, which has been set for summer 2014 at 2.7%.”