The economic benefits of a suggested new a ferry link between Scotland and Scandinavia will today be highlighted in a debate at the Scottish Parliament.

Angus MacDonald MSP will say that a route between Aberdeen or Rosyth and Norway could be a viable long term option, and he has called on the Scottish Government to consider the case.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports a 48% rise in visitors from Norway to the UK and further analysis of these statistics shows that in 2013 there were 1.175 million travellers between Norway and the UK. Norwegian Seaways say that approximately only 8 per cent of these travellers are required to make a UK to Norway ferry route a profitable ferry passenger service.

Commenting, Mr MacDonald said:

"In September 2008 we saw the last ferry sail from Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen in Norway, breaking a service that had lasted 130 years.

"Then, last year, the Harwich to Esbjerg in Denmark service was withdrawn, which in effect means there is now no direct passenger car ferry between the UK and Scandinavia.

"However, there is still great demand on both sides of the North Sea of a link between these islands and Scandinavia.

"With well over one million travellers going between Norway and the UK annually, the evidence suggests that there is enough demand for to bring back an economically viable service.

"Norway and the Scandinavian nations are some of the wealthiest on the planet so the economic benefit to increasing travel between the two islands is obvious. Also the cultural and social benefits of closer ties between the Nordic progressive social democracies and this country can only be a good thing."

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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