Tackling the transport and connectivity issues in a rural area such as Argyll and Bute is a big challenge. For that reason, looking to other remote areas to learn how they have addressed these challenges can be hugely informative. Last year, Brendan O’Hara MP met with representatives from the Faroe Islands which is a self-governing country, autonomous from Denmark with a population of just under 50,000. The group of 18 islands, slightly less than Argyll and Bute is connected by a vast network of tunnels and bridges although 80% are by tunnels.
With the difficulties of Argyll and Bute and the Highlands connecting with the mainland, looking to the Faroes was an obvious choice and last week, Mr O’Hara, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Faroe Islands, together with Angus Brendan MacNeil MP (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Faroe Islands and MP for the Western Isles) and Aki Johansen, representative of the Faroese Government met with Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands, at Holyrood on a fact-finding discussion on how the Faroe Islands are connected by tunnels.
Commenting Brendan O’Hara MP said:
“Last week, we were in Edinburgh for a meeting with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, to see what Scotland can learn from the Faroe Islands in terms of connecting remote and island communities with undersea tunnels. To date, the Faroese have 19 tunnels connecting all of their main islands, with others under construction. As MPs with so many islands in our respective constituencies, both Angus Brendan and I were very keen to learn from the Faroese and hope to visit the Faroe Islands with Humza very soon.”
“Enabling transport connectivity between the remote islands off the West Coast of Scotland could have a transformational impact on our rural communities, their economies and potentially reverse any prior depopulation, an issue affecting the area for many decades. I am eager to explore the potential of this and I am delighted that Humza is open to looking at this as an option”.
Left to right: Brendan O’Hara MP, Humza Yousaf MSP, Aki Johansen, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP
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