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Crisis Meeting on Cornish Helicopter Link to Islands

Scilly Chopper

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 1st November 2012

The fight to save Cornwall's helicopter link to the islands goes to the top.

Campaigners are meeting the transport minister on Thursday.

British International ran its final service on Wednesday, saying it can not make the route pay.

It leaves more than two thousand islanders fearing that they could be cut off when the ferry is not running and bad weather grounds the fixed wing planes.

Transport minister Norman Baker has told campaigners, "I recognise islanders' concerns about the future of the links between Scilly and the mainland. We understand that the operators of the ferry and plane services are considering what the ycan do to meet the demand for travel, and that efforts are being made locally to explore whether other potential helicopter operators would be willing to provide services.

"It is important that these avenues are fully explored and we hope that these discussions prove fruitful. Nevertheless, we want to ensure that transport links to the islands can be safeguarded for the longer term and I would be happy to meet with you to hear your concerns."

Marian Bennett from campaign group Friends of Isles of Scilly Transport said: "Our request to meet the Minister was based on the immediate need for a lifeline service on the cessation of the helicopter service and our principal long term objective to secure a service for passengers and freight that is reliable, regular, all year round and comparably affordable to that provided in the Scottish Isles."

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