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Government will not Subsidise Helicopter Route to Islands

Scilly Chopper
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7:01am 25th October 2012

A plan to save Cornwall's helicopter link to the Isles of Scilly has been dashed.

The government says it will not help pay to keep the service running like it does in Scotland.

There transport services are subsidised because they are seen as a lifeline to the mainland.

In just days British International is due to stop flying its historic route from Penzance to St Mary's and Tresco.

Challenged in the House of Lords, Lord Attlee, speaking for the government said: "The market has not yet failed. We do not want to interfere at this point because we want to see if there will be a commercial solution to the problem."

Campaigners say that is ridiculous because the helicopter route has been losing money for some time.

In a debate in parliament on Wednesday Lord Cameron called for parity with the Scottish islands, arguing: "The cost of transport to the Isles of Scilly is four times more expensive than the cost of transport to the mainland from the Scottish islands of equivalent distance.

"As a result business and the tourist industry in the Scilly Isles is suffering very badly and in rapid decline, compared to those industries in the Scottish isles."

7:01am 25th October 2012

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