Impact of the Removal of RET Fares from Commercial Vehicles on The Western Isles, Coll and Tiree


1. Under the Road Equivalent Tariff system the ½ metre rate took account of the length of the route

2. A working paper is available showing the costs for all vehicle lengths. However, for brevity and the purposes of illustration only a selection of vehicle lengths are included in this report.

3. The information provided for total commercial vehicle trips by route includes buses, although the number of buses is likely to be a small percentage of the total.

4. In December 2012, Scottish Government Ministers announced that CV fares for 2013 would rise by a maximum of 10% on each of the routes. The long-term strategy for CV fares will be considered following the completion of this study and consideration of the findings.

5. Between 2007 and 2011 Scottish GDP fell by 2.8%, an average annual decline of 0.7%. This compares to long term average annual growth of 1.7% between 1979 and 2011

6. The previous Halcrow report evaluating the impact of RET found that 22% of 160 companies had seen a reduction in transport charges after the introduction of RET, while the majority ie 61% responding that savings were 'never' passed on.

7. The figures presented here represent average figures across the UK. Specific figures for hauliers on the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree are not available at this disaggregated level.

8. The figure of 4.9% is taken from the Consumer Price Index, Office of National Statistics

9. A minority of businesses did believe that lower fares had been passed on in terms of reduced transport rates

10. Scottish Ferries Review Economic Work Package - Baseline Area Analysis (High10lands and Islands Enterprise, 2009), p. 34.

11. Ibid., p. 10.

12. The figures don't sum to the total as the individual categories are rounded to the nearest 5

13. It was agreed at the outset of the study that a web-based survey would likely be the most effective survey mechanism in terms of maximising response rates. However, one limitation of this type of survey is that the survey organiser cannot control the sample. Therefore there is a risk of self selection and bias within the sample - ie those who have filled in the survey may be those with a specific interest in the survey outcome

14. It should be noted that this response was given when businesses anticipated the 2013 fares increase for CVs to be higher than the 10 announced by Scottish Government Ministers in December 2012.

15. In analysing the trends in population, Census data showing actual population levels has been used for comparisons between 1971 and 2001. For more recent comparisons ie post 2001, mid-year estimates are used.

16. It should be noted that the total number of businesses, and the number of businesses in the primary sector, outlined throughout this chapter are rounded to the nearest 5. While this can make it difficult to be precise about the year on year changes when dealing with relatively small numbers, it still provides a useful indication of the size and importance of the sector across the islands.

17. The figures for Usits and Benbecula include Eriskay

18. The table doesn't include the inter-island Coll - Tiree route as the figures are small and unlikely to make a significant difference to the overall revenue figure, and therefore subsidy / cost to taxpayer

19. Fares on the Oban - Castlebay / Lochboisdale and Oban - Coll / Tiree increased by different percentages depending on the length of the vehicle. Figures shown are for 12m

20. As Chapter 2 explained, all of this decline may not necessarily be a direct consequence of the removal of RET fares for CVs. Other local factors and the general economic slowdown may also have been influencing factors.