asked the Secreretary of State for Scotland what part his Department is taking in the efforts to provide ferries to Eriskay and Vatersay in the Western Isles.
As to Eriskay, I understand that South Uist District Council has asked Inverness County Council to consider providing a vehicle ferry terminal on Eriskay for a new ferry service between South Uist, Eriskay and Barra, and that the county council is consulting the Scottish Transport Group about this. I have not been asked, as yet to provide assistance.
As to Vatersay, Inverness County Council is purchasing a vessel to provide a small vehicle ferry service between Castlebay and Vatersay. I have offered the county council assistance of 75 per cent. of the capital cost of the vessel and of temporary terminals under Section 34 of the Transport Act 1968.