The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the above consultation.
SCF is the only non-governmental organisation representing crofters and crofting. There are approximately 18,000 crofts of which just under half are in the four main island groups (Shetland, Orkney, the Outer Hebrides and the Argyll Islands). It is therefore evident that ferry services are of fundamental importance to the people represented by SCF. Crofters in Ardnamurchan, although nominally on the mainland, are also highly dependent on the Corran Ferry and on their links with Mull.
Affordable, reliable ferry services are probably the single most important factor in maintaining functioning economies and viable populations in the islands of Scotland. The sustainability of livestock production in the islands, and in remote mainland peninsulas, with its recognised social, economic and environmental benefits, is absolutely dependent in terms of costs and logistics on ferry services.
To read the full response please click on the PDF