Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has written to the Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP, to ask what consideration can be given to a “motorhome levy”, the proceeds of which could be used to improve local infrastructure according to local priorities.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“It has been a fantastic thing for our local economies in the Western Isles that we have had record numbers of tourists visiting here and enjoying our island hospitality. However, this success has brought its own set of problems and it is readily apparent that our infrastructure has not been able to keep up with demand.
“The numbers of motorhomes using island ferry routes has shot up nearly tenfold over the last decade and issues associated with motorhomes have been repeatedly brought up. There is a lack of suitable sites for them, a lack of waste disposal units and the extra space that they require on the ferries has contributed to the capacity problems we have seen over the summer. While there has been substantial and welcomed investment by the Scottish Government in new and larger ferries we need to recognise the continued pressure on local people trying to travel in the busy summer months.
“Motorhomes play an important part in our tourist economy and this should not be about making motorhome visitors feel unwelcome. They are welcome. This is about recognising the pressures created on infrastructure by such a rapid growth in tourism and providing communities with a new source of funding that they can direct as they see fit.”