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Whalsay to get tunnel

Whalsay is not going to have a new ferry and three new ferry terminals Shetland Islands Council decided this morning (Wednesday).

Instead councillors voted by eleven to ten to commit itself to a programme of building fixed links to Whalsay, Yell, Unst and Bressay over the next 20 years with a report by the end of the year so that any external funding can be sought starting early next year.

The decision was made despite the council’s chief financial officer Graham Johnston telling members that there was not likely to be any public money available to build tunnels in the foreseeable future.

Transport chief Michael Craigie had also said that the cost of building a new terminal at North Voe on Whalsay, refurbishing the mainland terminals at Laxo and Vidlin and building a new ferry had been reduced to just over £26 million.

Local councillor Josie Simpson said that he accepted the decision and was glad a way forward had been decided upon but he was very worried about how long the current ferry service could survive in its present condition.

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