Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Feeling ripped off

It was good to read a reasoned argument with regard to the ferry fares to Yell, Unst and Fetlar and its impact for tourism.

My wife and I will be in Shetland again in June and July in our motorcaravan after a very successful visit two years ago. When we travel, we aim to use all local facilities such as food producers, shops, attractions and campsites.

On our last visit we were encouraged by the ferry fare structure between the islands and visited Yell, Unst and Fetlar. During this year’s visit the aim is to explore more of the wonderful islands.

However, we may be discouraged from going back to the north isles as there are many parts we have not seen which don’t require a ferry. This will be a shame for those who live there as we felt on our last visit that communities there were struggling.

In our opinion, care is needed in the islands not to discourage tourists.

It is necessary to look at the overall package from the UK mainland. The return ferry fare on NorthLink ferries is now more than a crossing from Poole to Santander, in Spain, on the new ferry there.

Last autumn we paid £78 for a return crossing with our van from Dover to Calais. £600 for Aberdeen to Lerwick is serious money.

We love islands and wildlife and this year debated whether to return north or return to the Scottish western isles.

A Hopscotch ticket there with Calmac would have cost £230 for four ferry rides. I suspect we may be tempted to go there more and to Shetland less, as costs continue to rise.

The idea of having different prices for different groups also does not appeal.

We have encountered this before in Italy and it has left us feeling ripped off and not just happy to pay because we are tourists.

We come from Bath, a world heritage site. It is a very expensive city. Could I assume that Shetlanders would be happy to pay more than us to use the local services?

It could be that tourists making a single visit would be prepared to pay more. But will the islands attract repeat visits? I would love to think so but can quite see the venue might just become too expensive for us to keep returning.

As motorcaravaners we read the publication MMM. In the past few years there have been two features encouraging people to visit Shetland. I will send these comments to the magazine also in order to keep readers in the loop with regard to internal transport.

Denzil Longland
Tudor Lodge
Lower Kingsdown Rd
SN13 8BG