At the moment the majority of the ferries sailing to Islay do so to Port Ellen and there are people who want to realise a 50-50 split. These people/businesses have organised themselves in the Islay & Jura Fair Ferry Forum: "The Islay & Jura Fair Ferry Forum is made up of over 40 Islay and Jura based businesses who are working together to get a 50-50 split in ferry services between Port Askaig and Port Ellen in the interests of fairness for ALL parts of the Island and the residents of Jura." You can visit their Facebook page here.
ForArgyll published a good article about the matter a week ago in which they write: Around 30% of the residents of the island live in south Islay, on a line south of Islay airport. 70% of the residents live in the north and in the west of the island â€“ which is separated from the south and south east by the gigantic bight of the beautiful Loch Indaal. For those 70% of residents, Port Askaig is a more accessible ferry port â€“ and it has the significant advantage of being of far greater use to the residents of the fragile community of the Isle of Jura than is Port Ellen, which involves both the very short ferry crossing to Port Askaig and an additional land journey down through Islay."
These are interesting figures and the most important arguments for the discussion. are:
- The people on Jura who have to sail to Port Ellen and then drive over the island to Port Askaig for a ferry to Jura.
- The economic aspect for the owners of Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. They want to see the people arrive on their side of the island. The distilleries want the shortest routes for their freight.
- The environmental aspect. Ferries to Port Askaig need 20 mins less sailing time and therefore consume less fuel.
Back in 2009 I held a poll and asked website visitors for their favourite route to the island. The majority back then choose for the Kennacraig to Port Askaig service. I think with the current discussion going on it's interesting to hold another poll. This time I want to ask people where they live and what port they prefer for their ferry journey to and from the mainland. So please have a look at the poll below and cast your vote. The poll will remain here for the week since I'm off on a trip. Thanks for voting!
Update: I received quite a few requests for more options in the poll so I added two more: The first one is "Ileach: I like things the way things are" and the second one is "Visitor: I like things the way things are". I hope that those who haven't voted yet will do so now. Thanks for the suggestions :-)
Islay & Jura Fair Ferry Poll
1/1: What Ferry Port on Islay do you prefer to sail to/from?