George raises Scillies transport links at highest level

Posted on: 19th December 2012

Local MP, Andrew George, has called upon the Prime Minister to help find a solution to the transport problems created following the closure of the helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly at the end of October.

Mr George asked Rt. Hon David Cameron MP during Prime Minister’s Questions today whether he would be prepared to meet a delegation from the Islands to explore what assistance and encouragement the Government could offer.

Speaking in the Commons chamber, Mr George said: “The closure of the  – originally state sponsored –  lifeline helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly two months ago has presented very significant challenges to Islanders, to medical services and to the economy, but local people and other stakeholders are working together to find solutions. Would the Prime Minister be prepared to meet a small delegation of Islanders and myself in order to explore what encouragement and assistance the Government can provide the Islands in this their hour of urgent need?”

Mr Cameron responded: “My honourable friend makes an important point because clearly proper transport links to the Isles of Scilly are absolutely vital. I understand other providers are looking to fill the gaps that have been left by the helicopter service. This would provide the most long-term, most sustainable option rather than government subsidy. But obviously we have to look at all the options; this is a part of our country that needs to be connected to the mainland. If it is necessary to have a meeting then of course I will.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr George said: “So, the Prime Minister says he will meet ‘if it’s necessary’.

“It is. Land’s End Airport has been closed for 16 days since 1st November. The medical community say the service is still not adequate to meet patient need. More needs to be done and the Government don’t need to worry that they would have to stump up all the cash. There are many other ways in which they could assist and support.”

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