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Letters / Scandinavian links

At the Lerwick North and South hustings debate held at Clickimin on Saturday, I raised the issue of ferry links and Flybe links to Scandinavia.

Although we have long since waved bye, bye to Smyril Line as a way of commuting to Norway, Denmark etc, I do hope that the new council take on board the need to seriously look at developing links be it both cargo/passenger and new flight destinations.

I am not trying to lure Smyril Line back but at the same time it would be silly of me to not want a welcome return as would the few thousand or so that signed a petition lead by Graham Irvine of Whiteness.

The new or old ferry company to service Shetland/Aberdeen has been decided by the Scottish Government but again I would suggest that perhaps a summer time once a week service from Lerwick to Bergen or Lerwick to Hanstholm could be achieved.

Again it would probably need good heads and brains to get the service up and running, so please new council if there’s a way to establish old links, be brave and fight for what could be very popular once more.

I hope the new or existing ferry company will kindly provide couchettes for the passengers. It is a priority not a demand to meet the travellers’ needs and couchettes would be a bonus.

I also mentioned Flybe at the hustings; the reason being that Flybe now operates flights in Finland with connections to Norway and Sweden.

Here is the list of current Flybe Finland destinations for anyone interested.

Helsinki – Mariehamn, Aland (up to 2 daily) 
Helsinki – Tartu, Estonia (6 per week)
Helsinki – Trondheim, Norway (4 per week)
Helsinki – Umea, Sweden (4 per week)
Tampere – Tallinn, Estonia (up to 2 daily)
Turku – Tallinn (up to 2 daily)
Vaasa – Tallinn (6 per week)
Oulu – Tallinn (6 per week)
Tallinn – Stockholm Bromma, Sweden (up to 3 daily)

Flybe are usually keen to expand where they can, so again new council can more be done to open up new links for Sumburgh?

Sumburgh to Copenhagen and Sumburgh to Helsinki may open up brilliant links for Shetland as a whole.

I would be very interested to hear what others think on the issues raised or any ideas.

Damien Ristori
Lerwick Community Council member