Saturday, November 08, 2008
Road Equivalent Tariff - now THERE'S an Idea....and the excellent Ralia Cafe
Sounds boring, but Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) is a system aimed at encouraging tourism and business in the Scottish islands. Basically, you charge for ferry trips what the equivalent would be if you drove the same distance. Roughly. All is explained here. The pilot project has just started (I've only just realised)on the various mainland-Outer Hebrides routes, including the Ulapool-Stornoway ferry I've just been on.
So that was £87 return for me and the Citroen. They're calculating the cost on the basis of 60p per nautical mile and £5 per car. So for Shetland, that would be, uh, 400-odd miles return to Aberdeen, making it, £240. Plus a cabin. And two meals.
Hmm...that seems somewhat dearer than what we pay at the moment. Maybe NOT such a good idea for the Ultimate Seaborne Commute, and the longest ferry trip in UK waters.
I'm back in Glasgow, missing Shetland and home, but Susan, James and Martha are heading south next Wednesday for a jaunt, so we will be panting various towns red then during and after Children in Need.
Got the ferry out of Stornoway (latest check-in 6.30am) and it was a very reasonable 2 hours and 45 minutes to Ullapool in a choppy but not brutal sea. Calmac Lorne sausage was fine! But let me recommend the Ralia Cafe just outside Dalwhinnie on the A9 - great soup, wonderful views, and the owner is an A9 traveller who knows what folk really want - great service, free internet, phone charging. Proper coffee too.